PM confident Thailand ready to cope with Ebola

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BANGKOK, Dec 15 — Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha considers the Ebola virus disease as a health challenge but says that Thailand has resources to cope with it.

Opening the ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers’ Special Meeting on Ebola Preparedness and Response at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel in Bangkok, Gen Prayut said Ebola was a big challenge to not only public health but also to worldwide economies.

The meeting was set on Dec 14 and 15.

Participants included ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh and the health ministers of ASEAN member states as well as China, Japan and South Korea.

Gen Prayut urged authorities to cope by informing people of the health threat straightforwardly, activating efficient surveillance and alarming systems, updating and exchanging information and enhancing the capacities of medical and health services.

He said Thailand had resources to cope with Ebola as it had surveillance networks, diagnosis units and authorities who could make swift decisions to contain the disease.

The Ministry of Public Health takes the lead in responses to the disease.

It informed the general public with facts and supported relevant medical research, while its staff is watching to possible patients at border checkpoints and monitoring suspected patients, the prime minister said.

Gen Prayut praised the international community for fully helping Ebola-stricken countries and assured that Thailand was raising more assistance for them.