Jack Bloom is itching for SA to have Ebola – Aaron Motsoaledi

2014-08-15 06:00

Government will immediately divulge to citizens when the first case of Ebola is detected in South Africa, says Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

“We have been inundated with calls after Mr Jack Bloom issued a statement. That statement sent the media into a frenzy,” he told reporters at the Edenvale General Hospital in Johannesburg yesterday.

“I couldn’t allow the country to go to sleep with uncertainty regarding what is happening.”

The DA health spokesperson yesterday said there was a suspected case of Ebola regarding a patient who arrived from Conakry, Guinea, on July 28 through OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Bloom said the “Gauteng health department must provide full information to allay public fears, and tracing must be done to find any people who were in close contact with this particular patient”.

Motsoaledi said Bloom would be disappointed to learn that the pregnant woman tested negative, after rigorous tests.

“We don’t want this irresponsibility. From what I am gathering from him [Bloom], he is really itching for us to have Ebola. If he believes Ebola brings fame, he must wait a little bit,” said Motsoaledi.

“Why is a person excited because this country is getting Ebola? It’s not in our interest to hide any Ebola case. It would actually cause more havoc. The sooner we disclose the better.”

He said because of Bloom’s “mischief”, additional tests were done on the woman. The results, which were received by the national institute for communicable diseases, were also negative.

Motsoaledi said South Africa was “combat ready” to deal with Ebola.

“If anything is likely to happen in South Africa, we believe it will start in Gauteng. If there is an outbreak of Ebola in both Charlotte Maxeke and Steve Biko hospitals, 200 health workers will be ready to touch them,” said Motsoaledi.

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