Portuguese authorities refuse plane transporting Ebola carrier to land

It was reported on 8th October that Portugal and Morocco have refused to let a small aircraft carrying an Ebola sufferer land on their territory.

The small aircraft is reported to be carrying a Norwegian citizen who was infected with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone according to the Spanish television station Antena 3.

Antena 3 is reporting that the plane ended up making a stop on Gran Canaria, where the security protocol for such cases was put in place. Nobody and no objects were allowed to leave the plane while it was in Gran Canaria.

The victim is said to be a 32 year old women who has been working as a medical doctor for Doctors Without Borders. She is the first person from Norway to be infected with Ebola and was airlifted out of Sierra Leone in a medical transport plane.

After tests in Sierra Leone confirmed that she was carrying the virus, the woman began her journey back to Oslo but the pilot needed to refuel along the journey.

The Portuguese and Moroccan authorities were contacted, but neither country gave permission to land, and the pilot ended up landing in the Canaries, where it spent 40 minutes before continuing on to Paris, where it made another stop, reported Antena 3.

Portugal will have access to the experimental treatment for the Ebola virus if any cases are diagnosed in the country, Health Minister Paulo Macedo said in Lisbon yesterday.

Speaking to the Parliamentary Health Committee, Macedo said that Portugal was fully prepared to respond to any potential cases of Ebola and had been assured that the health system would be supplied with the experimental treatment used on patients that survived the disease in the United States.

Macedo noted that Portugal was prepared both for “repatriation of a Portuguese citizen that may have been infected by the disease and for any case that comes in from abroad.”


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