Ebola Alert on Crete for the 700-immigrants carrying vessel

Οn a giant Emergency Response & Rescue Operation for the Borders Control and Protection of the Country from Communicating Diseases and the Ebola virus,

local authorities , the Greek CDC and Red Cross volunteers on Crete are racing  to handle the hundreds of immigrants on the crippled freighter carrying 700 immigrants that  being slowly towed to safety by a Greek navy frigate.

A day after it suffered engine failure in international waters, the 250-foot Baris cargo ship carrying some 700 men, women and children trying to enter Europe – one of the largest boatloads of the kind in recent years — was being towed at a speed of about three knots.

The coast guard said initial indications suggested passengers included Syrians and Afghans heading for Italy. It was unclear where the Kiribati-flagged ship had set sail from, or when.

Ierapetra local authorities and volunteer groups are preparing an indoor basketball stadium to provide temporary shelter for the migrants,  collecting food, blankets, mattresses and toiletries.The Baris lost engine power Tuesday about 30 nautical miles off the southeastern tip of Crete.

Greek officials and the Greek Center of Disease Control ( HCDCP) said Wednesday night there were no reports of severe health problems or food and water shortages on board. after the communication  of the Center with the crew on board, that has been set as one of the primary regulations of the country for the Emergency handling of such situations for the Protection of Ebola virus importing cases.     A pregnant woman was airlifted by helicopter to an island hospital.

The migrants will be medically screened for Ebola virus  under the Protocol procedures that the Greek Center of Disease Control has set as regulations, by the General Manger of the Greek Center of Disease Control being already on board by the Special trained Greek CDC medical team for Ebola Response before the migrants been ferried to land.

Just days before the freighter ran into trouble, 228 Syrian refugees heading for Italy were rescued from a crippled ship off Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.

EU regulations stipulate that refugees seeking asylum must apply in the first EU country they arrive at.

About 80 per cent of immigrants arriving by sea at Greece’s eastern Aegean Sea islands are Syrians fleeing the country’s civil war, according to the Doctors Without Borders humanitarian organization’s Greek branch.

Tens of thousands of people risk the hazardous journey every year, paying smuggling gangs to carry them over in usually unseaworthy craft ranging from toy dinghies to aging rust-buckets. Most end up in Italy.

According to Amnesty International data, since the start of 2014 more than 2,500 people have drowned or gone missing — about 1.7 per cent of the estimated 150,000 who made it across.

Since the start of November the Ministry of Health had released new, updated guidelines to enhance the level of preparedness of the ports of the for any possible suspected incident of Ebola hemorrhagic fever

“Given that the incubation period of Ebola virus is 2-21 days, the possibility of introducing in Greece an hemorrhagic fever outbreak through the ship that sail from Ebola affected areas, is considered very likely .” “Sailing from Guinea Conracy Port, for instance”, had said , ironically ,the Ministry of Health Circular, takes a travel time of 10 days. .

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