Date
23 August 2017
Hong Kong medical workers should take more precautions when handling suspected Ebola patients, a doctor has urged. Photo: Bloomberg
Hong Kong medical workers should take more precautions when handling suspected Ebola patients, a doctor has urged. Photo: Bloomberg

Protective gear urged for medical staff amid Ebola scare

Dr Ho Pak-Leung, director of the Carol Yu Centre for Infection at the University of Hong Kong, said local medical workers were not in proper protective gear when they handled a 32-year-old Nigerian male who was taken Sunday for tests for suspected Ebola virus infection.

Video footage showed that some medical personnel were not wearing gloves, masks and water-proof suits when escorting the Nigerian male into a hospital, a Ming Pao Daily report said Tuesday.

The Nigerian later tested negative for the deadly virus. The Fire Services Department said each of its ambulance staff will be given a mask and a protective suit from now on.

As revealed from the CCTV footage at ChungKing Mansions in Kowloon, the Nigerian approached the building’s management office Sunday morning, and was offered a chair to rest. He was then seen vomiting into a plastic bag before medical personnel arrived at the scene.

Ho said authorities should review the existing protective gear for medical staff, and step up safety measures as the Ebola virus can be contracted via bodily fluids.

If a patient suddenly vomits, medical people next to the patient could be infected, therefore they should wear waterproof suits, the doctor added.

The Hospital Authority said all of its public hospitals will handle Ebola cases under pre-set procedures, including the use of surgical masks, N95 masks, goggles, face mask, protective suit, gloves, and protective caps for heads and shoes.

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EL/JP/RC

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