Ebola - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:29 am on 25th July 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development 11:29 am, 25th July 2019

I agree with the right reverend Prelate on the importance of getting education on this out, and community engagement remains one of the most important factors that will help in any outbreak. Strengthening this aspect of the response is a key part of the ongoing reset which the UK and other partners have pushed for. The response is increasingly working with religious leaders to help foster community trust and ownership and, on top of our wider support, we are funding anthropological research into community dynamics, which is working with faith leaders.

On the right reverend Prelate’s second question, we do of course have screening at the airports in the affected areas, but the Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the Cabinet Office is co-ordinating the UK’s preparedness, working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Transport and UK Border Force. We manage a returning workers scheme: people who have travelled to the area register, and we monitor their health. We have the expertise to handle a case of Ebola in the UK, with two high-level isolation units. We undertake a risk assessment every two weeks and monitor the situation daily. The current assessment is that the risk to the UK is negligible to very low.