October 16, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government has issued a precautionary warning to parliamentarians, advising against shaking hands, saying the decision is part of measures aimed at minimising the threat of contracting Ebola.
- South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AP)
Information and broadcasting minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the cabinet had resolved that people should not shake hands as part of ramped up efforts being introduced in South Sudan.
The decision was taken at its ordinary meeting chaired by president Salva Kiir on Tuesday.
In a statement broadcast by the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV) following the meeting, Lueth also announced additional screening measures for travellers to and from West Africa, where an Ebola epidemic is sweeping several nations
“It is advised people should avoid shaking hands. People should just wave or say hi instead of shaking hands,” the minister said, explaining that it is now time to take appropriate security precautions in line with the gravity of the threat.
“That means doing whatever it takes to keep infected people from coming here,” he said.
Ebola is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected individual, but is only contagious after a patient starts showing symptoms.
The World Health Organisation has estimated that more than 4,400 people have died as a result of the latest outbreak, with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea among the worst-affected countries.