16 October 2014
WITH the Ebola epidemic in West Africa showing no signs of being effectively contained, and the latest news of a health-care worker infected with the Ebola virus in the United States, prospects of the deadly disease hitting Asia can no longer be excluded.
Mr Anthony Banbury, head of the United Nations’ emergency Ebola mission, has warned that the Ebola virus is “far ahead of us and every day the situation gets worse”.
Against this scenario, how can Asia prepare itself?
Last year, East Asian states, through the Asean Plus Three (APT) framework (including China, Japan and South Korea), had committed to use cooperative mechanisms to improve disease surveillance and to boost pandemic preparedness and response in the region. Lessons from the Sars outbreak in 2003 had prompted countries in East Asia to establish this regional framework for combating highly infectious pandemic outbreaks. The global community has responded with a list of commitments. The US has topped the list of contributing countries, pledging about US$168 million (S$214 million), followed by Britain and Germany at US$19 million and US$15.3 million, respectively.
IDSS / NTS Centre / RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 16/10/2014