Saturday, October 11, 2014
Swedes Stand Ready For Ebola Case
Via The Local: Sweden has established clear quarantine guidelines if a passenger aboard a plane to Sweden shows signs of Ebola infection. The routines include redirecting the plane to one of five designated quarantine areas. "It's always the captain of the aircraft who is responsible if they suspect that there is an infected traveler. They then alert the air traffic control tower where they are headed", said Ulf Wallin, press officer at Arlanda Airport. In both the UK and the United States more airports are starting to screen passengers arriving from destinations in Ebola-hit areas of West Africa. Sweden has so far declined to enforce the additional measures as the country has few direct flights to the area. There are however strict rules governing how to handle procedure if a passenger on board a flight heading to Sweden is suspected of carrying the Ebola infection, which has claimed at least 4.000 lives, mostly in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The five designated airports equipped with quarantine facilities are: Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, Landvetter in Gothenburg, Malmö Airport, Umeå, and Jönköping. Once it has landed, it is not permitted to taxi to the terminal and must remain a distance from the airport buildings. "The responsible physician in the county where the plane landed is then called to the airport. No one may leave or board the plane before the doctor has made an assessment", said Wallin. Sweden announced it was sending a team of doctors to Sierra Leone on Wednesday, following criticism that it was not doing as much to help tackle the virus as its European neighbors. Twelve people will travel to west Africa, according to Ann-Charlotte Zachrisson, Director of Operations at Sweden's National Agency for Safety and Preparedness. Five of them are understood to be specialist doctors.