False Ebola alarm triggers panic at Kasumbalesa

From MWILA NTAMBI in Kitwe
POLICE at Kasumbalesa border in Chililabombwe have arrested a 44-year-old truck driver of Ndola’s Gomes Haulage for allegedly causing panic when he claimed that one of his colleagues had failed to drive his vehicle because he had contracted Ebola.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Joyce Kasosa said in an interview in Kitwe that the incident happened yesterday.
Ms Kasosa identified the suspect as Mainza Chiyakama, of plot number 5842, New Mushili in Ndola.
She said there was panic at Kasumbalesa border when Chiyakama allegedly claimed that his colleague had contracted the Ebola disease.
Ms Kasosa said police have charged Chiyakama with publication of false news with intent to cause alarm or fear to the public.
“This happened when the said driver went to Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) facility at Kasumbalesa to clear his truck that was coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and alleged that there was a driver within the facility who was unable to drive a truck because he was suffering from Ebola,” Ms Kasosa said.
She said this caused panic but it was later discovered to be false after investigations.
Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a disease of humans and other primates caused by an Ebola virus.
Ebola has claimed over 1,900 lives in West Africa.
Meanwhile, EVELYN MULENGA and CHINOYI CHIPULU report that Chingola District Community health officer Charles Sakulanda has appealed to health workers to remain calm because Government has put measures in place to prevent an outbreak of Ebola.
Dr Sakulanda said this following reports that nurses at Nchanga North General Hospital on Sunday allegedly scampered after a body which was bleeding from the mouth and genitals was taken to the health facility.
A concerned resident, who sought anonymity, said the nurses scampered upon seeing the bleeding corpse.
Speaking during an Ebola sensitisation meeting at Chingola Municipal Council yesterday, Dr Sakulanda advised nurses to remain calm because the situation is in control.
“The situation is very normal, so medical personnel should not panic at all. We have identified an isolation place, so health workers must not worry about that,” Dr Sakulanda said.

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