Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday it has assigned a special unit to stay on top of the development of the Ebola epidemic, after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the deadly disease outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency. The unit will work with the Immigration Agency and Foreign Ministry to provide visitors to and from the affected and at-risk areas with relevant information on the risks, measures to minimize those risks, and advice for managing a potential exposure, the CDC said. The affected areas mainly cover the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, where the number of Ebola cases on Monday stood at 1,711, including 932 deaths, according to the WHO. The unit will direct local hospitals to be prepared to detect, investigate, and manage Ebola cases, the CDC said, adding that it will help them build up a qualified diagnostic laboratory.
The CDC will also work with the National Defense Medical Center's Institute of Preventive Medicine to establish standard operating procedures on testing Ebola samples. In addition, the CDC said it will provide the public with accurate and up-to-date information on the Ebola outbreak and measures to reduce the risk of exposure. Following the WHO's advice, though, Taiwan will not impose general bans on travel or trade in affected areas.
Still, Taiwan has raised the level of warning in its travel advisory to the four countries, asking those visiting there to stay vigilant. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)