Katter To Press Aid Agency on Ebola Protection
15 October 2014 at 4:21 pm
Maverick Federal MP Bob Katter has formally requested a meeting with the Red Cross to discuss his concerns around the Ebola virus pandemic.
Following the news that a Red Cross aid worker, Sue Ellen Kovack, had tested negative for the virus while being treated in a Cairns hospital, Katter said that Australia was not doing enough to ensure the disease did not spread beyond Africa.
Katter said he wanted a mandatory isolated quarantine period of 21 days for any aid workers returning from Ebola affected countries, instead of the current method of self-regulated quarantine.
“The many health authorities we have been in contact with may have got an ‘A’ in medicine, but they would get a ‘Z’ in logic,” Katter said.
“To provide a higher quarantine level on animal diseases, or animals entering Australia from overseas, than on this disease is quite extraordinary.”
Along with the Red Cross, Katter has requested meetings with Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, Health Minister Peter Dutton and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
“The current so called protocol consists of ‘will you please stay at home for three weeks?’ I wouldn’t consider it a protocol at all,” Katter said.
“The US health worker who treated the US patient that died of Ebola is reported as having worn a complete and impervious membrane, yet still contracted Ebola.
“Compared with America, on a scale of one to 10 Australia gets a one.”
Australian Red Cross Head of International Program Peter Walton previously the negative test result of his organisation’s aid worker showed that correct protocols were being followed.
“The results really show that Red Cross has systems in place that all of our aid workers follow carefully, to ensure that their personal protection is first and foremost,” Walton said.
“Working in the personal protective equipment can be terribly hot and difficult work but our health professionals have strict procedures in place for their safety.
“This is the biggest ever Ebola outbreak and a major health emergency. We must remember that more than 3,900 people have died so far and the numbers of people becoming infected is doubling every three weeks.
“We really must do much more to bring the epidemic under control.”