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Russian experts take part in combating Ebola in Guinea

The hospital, which is assisted by the Russian side, is preparing to host patients, the head of the Russian expert team said

PRETORIA, February 17. /TASS/. Russia’s specialists of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing are taking part in an effort to stem the spread of the Ebola virus in Guinea, Head of the Russian expert team Andrey Kritsky told TASS on Wednesday

"We are maintaining close contacts with local health authorities," Kritsky said. "We are now launching laboratory diagnostics due to the Ebola outbreak. In its turn, the hospital, which is assisted by the Russian side, is preparing to host patients."

On February 14, Guinea’s government officially declared an Ebola pandemic in the country’s south-east. The first Ebola case was detected in the Nzerekore region’s Goueke, it was a nurse who died on January 28. Currently, ten Ebola patients have been registered, while five of whom have died. Furthermore, Guinea’s Health Ministry identified 115 people who had been recently in close contact with the infected in Nzerekore, another ten people - in the country’s capital Conakry. The ministry’s spokesman noted that Guinea’s healthcare services were now better prepared to combat the virus than during the previous Ebola outbreak six years ago.

"The Russian-Guinean Research Center for Epidemiology and Prevention of Infectious Diseases has been operating in Guinea for several years," Kritsky said. "Russia has been providing assistance to Guinea in the fight against infections since the Ebola outbreak in 2014. At that time, the specialists of the Russian Research Anti-Plague "Microbe" Institute and the Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology were sent to Guinea. The team of experts made a major contribution to combating the Ebola epidemic in 2014-2016," the Russian expert went on to say.

"After the elimination of the pandemic, Russia’s sanitary watchdog continued to assist [the African country] in diagnosing and combating other infections - measles, viral hepatitis, a number of natural focal infectious diseases and others. Since 2020, Russian specialists have been actively assisting in the fight against COVID-19. Currently, when the Ebola outbreak has re-emerged in Guinea, the Russian-Guinean center is fully equipped with the necessary chemicals and supplies, it is ready to take an active part in combating the pandemic," Kritsky concluded.

Guinea was one of the epicenters of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016. More than 28,000 cases were reported back then and the death toll hit 11,300. The most challenging situation was reported in Guinea’s neighboring states, Liberia and Sierra Leone.