PM: Govt could send help to Ebola nations

  • 01/11/2014

The Government says it has not ruled out sending help to Ebola-affected nations but it has to be sure it can handle the risk of infection.

Prime Minister John Key said today he had spoken to his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott about a joint initiative to combat the outbreak of the virus.

"There was some discussion about the likely responses ... and what constructive role each country might play," Mr Key told reporters.

"There's certainly been a request from the international community for support."

The prime ministers met during their visit to Western Australia for World War I centenary commemorations.

Mr Key said Kiwi nurses volunteering with the Red Cross have already travelled to Ebola-hit African nations to help with the humanitarian response to the crisis.

But it's possible more Kiwis who wanted to help could be sent there on behalf of the Government, Mr Key said.

"But if we do that we have to be completely satisfied that we can do so in a way that was absolutely safe for them and they didn't present a threat when they returned to New Zealand," he said.

The prime minister said New Zealand would have to follow in the steps of the British government, which has dedicated medical facilities for workers to return to after contact with Ebola patients.


source: newshub archive