Prague - We are ready for a possible Ebola outbreak, said the Czech health minister, Svatopluk Nemecek, on Tuesday after discussing the issue with the Central Epidemiological Commission.
“Besides other things, we have looked into hospital capacities. The most important facility is the Na Bulovce hospital, which has at its disposal two intensive care beds for Ebola patients and another nine for observation,” said Nemecek, adding that a military hospital in the northern Czech village of Techonin is able to provide another eight beds in three days.
The Techonin hospital is a biosafety level (BSL) 3 and 4 facility for 39 patients. Ten years ago, it underwent a CZK 1.2 billion (EUR 43 million) renovation. Its operation costs CZK 120 million (EUR 4.3 million) in taxpayer money a year.
The minister also said that the Czech Republic's capacities are not sufficient to provide treatment to patients from other countries.
It is necessary to collect data on all foreign students and workers in affected zones, said the Czech Republic's top health officer, Vladimir Valenta. According to him, the Czech Republic is not able to repatriate Czech citizens infected with Ebola.
“Most countries are not able to repatriate Ebola patients and neither are we. Technologically, it is a very demanding solution... Only three countries have been able to develop a solution so far - Great Britain, France and Italy,” said Valenta. In case of emergency, the Czech Republic will ask these three countries for assistance, he added.
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