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Ireland is not bringing in airport checks for Ebola, says Department of Health

Ireland is fully prepared to deal with any possible Ebola case, the Chief Medical Officer said.

Image: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

IRELAND WILL NOT be bringing in screenings at airports to minimise the risk of Ebola after Britain introduced the measure.

The Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health said it is far more effective to screen people as they leave countries where the virus is present, rather than screening people coming into a country.

Dr Tony Holohan told RTE’s Prime Time programme last night that Ireland is fully prepared if an Ebola case were to be diagnosed here “both from a public health point of view and from a clinical point of view”.

The British government has introduced what it calls ‘enhanced screening’ at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London and Eurostar train terminals.

The screening will involve assessing passengers’ recent travel history and whether they have recently travelled to a country affected by Ebola. It will also look at who they have been in contact with and their onward travel arrangements, as well as a possible medical assessment.

The Government’s Task Force on Emergency Planning met on Wednesday night to discuss Ireland’s readiness to deal with the virus in the wake of new cases in the US, Spain, and possibly Macedonia.

The Taoiseach and the rest of the Cabinet will be briefed on the latest developments at a meeting later today.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised against all non-essential travel to Libria, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea.

Almost 3,500 people have died from Ebola since the initial outbreak in March.

Read: British airports to introduce Ebola screening > 

Read: Government task force meets as Taoiseach says outbreak is of ‘graves concern’ > 

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