After, India has reported its first Ebola case when a 26-year-old man travelling from Liberia arrived at the Indira Gandhi International airport at New Delhi on Tuesday, Congressman and former Goa chief minister Ravi Naik demanded Ebola patients should not be allowed to enter Goa and those who succumb to the disease should not be buried in the state.
While speaking to reporters in Ponda, a sub-district located 30 kms from Panaji, Naik specifically expressed his opposition to a state government order identifying the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Ponda as a quarantine facility should a person in the state be diagnosed with Ebola.
A special monitoring committee set up to keep tabs on the Ebola virus has identified a crematorium, also located in Ponda, for cremating Ebola victims should they expire in the state.
"They are taking people from Ponda for granted. We will protest it. We will move around every house to create awareness about the fact that we do not want the hospital and cremation facilities for Ebola patients in Ponda. In fact we don’t want such patients in the whole of Goa. They should be sent somewhere else," Naik said Thursday.
Ten beds in the Ponda hospital have been identified by the Goa government as a quarantine facility in case Ebola patients are found in the state. The government has also identified a crematorium at Warkhand in Ponda, which has been earmarked for disposal of bodies of Ebola victims.
Both facilities have been shortlisted as per the conditions laid down by the World Health Organisation for dealing with those afflicted by Ebola. The WHO warns that Ebola could be spread even after the death of a patient through exchange of body fluids.
Naik also said that the state could more easily get Ebola infected people because Goa has several Nigerian nationals travelling to and from the African continent. He also said erroneously that Ebola was claiming a lot of lives in "Nigeria, Liberia and Siberia!"
(With inpusts from IANS)