With many of the most populous, densely-packed cities in the world, one must wonder, how is Asia preparing for the risk of Ebola?
In Vietnam, the Ministry of Health introduced Friday guidelines for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of the Ebola virus disease and these guidelines have been distributed to hospitals. Hospitals assigned to treat Ebola patients have been provided with protective clothes and devices for health care workers plus training on treatment regimens.
Currently, screening visitors’ body temperature through remote temperature sensors and applying health declarations to those coming from countries hard hit by Ebola are two measures taken to detect the deadly virus, according to Tran Dac Phu, head of the ministry’s Preventive Health Department.
In Manila, Philippines, according to a statement Friday, the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines announced its plan to conduct specialized weekly training programs for health workers from both public and private hospitals.
The training of hundreds of Filipino health workers, to be administered by foreign experts on infectious diseases, is set to commence in 10 days will prepare Filipino health workers on how to detect and treat cases of Ebola, and how to prevent a possible spread in the country. Each region of the country has a designated referral center for Ebola, while the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) was designated as the National Referral Center.
In addition, the Manila International Airport Authority also said it has acquired protective suits for its personnel to use in the event a person infected with the Ebola virus arrives in the Philippines.
In Malaysia, the health ministry announced that entry points, particularly international airports in Selangor, Penang, Johor Baru and Kota Kinabalu, are being monitored for travelers who may be infected, including the use of body temperature scanners.
In addition, according to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, public health personnel have conducted simulated exercises to better prepare themselves in the event that they encounter a confirmed Ebola case in the country.
The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has requested all regional-level and above hospitals to train their frontline healthcare workers the proper donning, wearing and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to ensure their safety and the safety of the patients.
Besides raising the awareness and knowledge of travelers about Ebola at ports and airports and making in-flight public announcements on all incoming international aircrafts to remind travelers of the necessary precautions, Taiwan CDC also issues the Ebola Virus Disease Travel Health Notice to all inbound passengers arriving from areas affected by Ebola to reinforce border control.
In Hong Kong, a detailed 26-page “Preparedness and Response Plan for Ebola virus disease” was published in August, which details public health response measures, surveillance, laboratory support, investigation, and infection control measures.
It even includes a section on what to do if Ebola virus is identified in the local animal population.
Finally, with 19% of the world’s population (1.367 billion), China says they are confident that strict controls and a response plan put in place in July will prevent the spread of Ebola. Beijing has quietly imposed strict border and health controls to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus to China.
“Compared with the high-profile quarantine inspections in 2009 when the H1N1 swine flu led to a global scare, the quarantine measures this time are very low-key. We’re employing an ‘intense inside and relaxed outside’ strategy,” an official with Shanghai’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page