LONDON, July. 30 (Xinhua) -- The deadly Ebola virus, which has killed hundreds of people since February, could be a threat to Britain, Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary has said, as he chaired an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon.
The meeting of the "Cobra" committee aimed at coordinating Britain's response to the spread of Ebola virus. The disease has killed more than 670 people in West Africa. No Britons had been affected so far and there were no cases in Britain, according to Mr. Hammond, however, the government was viewing the outbreak "very seriously".
"In terms of the UK, the issue is about the possibility of somebody who has contracted the disease in Africa getting sick here." the Foreign Secretary told BBC that: "It is not about the disease spreading in the UK because we have frankly different standards of infection control procedure that would make that most unlikely."
He added: "But it is a threat, it is something we need to respond to and we will be doing so through the Cobra mechanism."
Public Health England (PHE) has already issued an alert to British doctors to be aware of Ebola's symptoms. PHE's global health chief told media that officials have been briefing doctors, Government bodies and the UK Border Agency on what to do if Ebola arrives.
Fears of global outbreak were raised last week, after a man showing signs of Ebola were allowed to leave Liberia on a flight to Lagos, an international travel hub in Nigeria, where he later died.