Nigerian man tests negative for Ebola, no case so far in India

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 18, 2014 23:32 IST

A 79-year-old Nigerian man admitted to New Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital has tested negative for the Ebola Virus Disease.

The man, who had flown into Delhi on early Sunday morning, was brought to RML hospital for screening along with two other passengers after he had shown (EVD)-like symptoms.

The other two passengers, a four-year-old boy and his 37-year-old mother, were discharged on Monday after their blood samples tested negative for the disease.

The initial test results of the 79-year-old Nigerian citizen, however, had been inconclusive. His blood samples were sent for confirmatory tests to the National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi, and National Institute of Virology, Pune.

The Union health ministry on Monday confirmed that he had tested negative for the disease.

The samples were subjected to Antigen Elisa and RT-PCR tests. In addition, scientists at the Pune facility carried out sequencing and all tests confirmed that the Nigerian national was free of the dreaded Ebola virus.

“Reports about a Nigerian national being testing “positive” for EVD at RML Hospital are not true. Our vigilant officials did send a person to RML. His blood samples were sent to NCDC and NIV. His tests results are negative and there is no cause for worry,” said health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

Vardhan expressed satisfaction with the infrastructure put in place at all entry points to the country to test people arriving with symptoms of EVD.

The World Health Organisation had sounded an international emergency on August 8 but before that the Indian government had placed surveillance and tracking systems on full alert.

So far, no case of Ebola has been reported from the country and passengers are being screened as a precautionary measure.

Till now, 12,257 passengers have been screened at various international airports. Several departments of the central government are working in tandem with state governments to ensure total surveillance, the minister said.

“I personally inspected the arrangements at Bangalore International Airport on Thursday. Luckily, the disease is not air-borne, therefore, the infrastructure of prevention will easily arrest its spread,” Vardhan said.Meanwhile, the WHO has reported 2,127 EVD cases worldwide till August 13 and the total fatalities are 1,145.

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