Flames, Guinea to undergo Ebola checks
Ministry of Health officials will conduct temperature checks on Malawi’s Flames and Guinea players as they fly into the country ahead of their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Tuesday in Blantyre.
The Flames return home on Sunday via Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe before riding a bus to Blantyre, while Guinea will arrive on Monday through Chileka Airport.
The two teams met in the Guinean capital, Conakry yesterday in the shadow of Ebola outbreak resurfacing in the West African country.
Head of Epidemiology in the Ministry of Health, Matthew Kagoli, disclosed that government procured infra-red thermometers and body scanners which will be in use as the two teams arrive in the country.
“There is no cause for alarm. As a ministry, we are well-equipped to take care of the situation. We will be at the airports in Lilongwe and Blantyre to conduct checks on the arriving players. Anyone coming from a country with cases of Ebola undergoes screening and players from the two teams will be no exception,” said Kagoli.
He, however, pointed out that players from the two teams are not in the high-risk category since they are merely footballers, who may not have made physical contact with those suffering from the disease.
Kagoli said in the case of Flames players, the ministry would encourage them to deploy a self-monitoring mechanism requiring that they report to a medical practitioner upon experiencing symptoms related to Ebola within 21 days.
“We will also get their contacts for easy follow-ups. But we know they are responsible people who will let us know should they experience Ebola symptoms within the 21 days. We will also be careful not to confuse between malaria and Ebola fever since our country is in the malaria belt,” he observed.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) wrote Confederation of African Football (Caf) over the situation in Guinea, but the continental football governing body, in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO), said there was no danger in Conakry.
At the peak of the outbreak, Guinea was forced to play all its home matches in Casablanca, Morocco.
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