London, July 30 (IANS): Authorities in Britain will soon hold an emergency meeting to discuss the “threat” posed by the Ebola virus that has killed more than 670 people in West Africa, a government official said Wednesday.
“At the moment we don't think any British nationals (abroad) are affected and we are fairly confident there are no cases in the UK... But it is a threat, it is something we need to respond to and we will be doing so through the Cobra mechanism,” BBC quoted Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond as saying.
Hammond added that he would chair the meeting of the Cobra committee, which will begin coordinating Britain’s response to the spread of the disease.
Cobra stands for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A and it meets to discuss high-priority issues that cross departmental borders within government. It plans government responses in times of emergency.
Last week, a man exhibiting signs of the disease was allowed to leave Liberia on a flight to Nigeria, where he later died, raising fears of a global outbreak.
A Briton, who had been travelling from Nigeria, via Paris, was also isolated and subjected to a number of tests at a hospital in Birmingham after becoming unwell Monday. The man has since been given the all-clear, according to the Daily Mail.
Brian McCloskey, the director of global health at the Public Health England, told the Independent that Ebola represents the most “acute health emergency” currently facing Britain.
All doctors in Britain have been told to look out for patients exhibiting the early symptoms of the Ebola disease. The symptoms include fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain and lack of appetite.