Spanish PM promises ‘transparency’ in Ebola scare

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy appealed
for calm Wednesday after a Madrid nurse
contracted the deadly Ebola virus, promising
“transparency” over the scare which has sparked
fierce criticism of national health safeguards.
Rajoy told parliament officials would “provide all
the information possible to the public with total
transparency”, after the nurse became the first
person to become infected with the disease
outside of Africa.
“What we have to do right now is be vigilant but
keep calm.”
Four other people including the woman’s
husband have been hospitalised for observation
since they were considered at risk of having the
disease.
The government has set up a special commission
to coordinate work between Spanish officials and
liaise with European institutions, he said.
The European Commission on Tuesday
demanded an explanation from Spain of how the
nurse got infected in a specialised disease unit.
Rajoy said the top priority was to treat the patient
and secondly to monitor people who had been in
contact with her.
Officials would meanwhile “investigate what
happened and why this contagion occurred”,
Rajoy added.
The leader of the opposition Socialists, Pedro
Sanchez, questioning Rajoy in parliament,
denounced the public spending cuts in healthcare
during the recent years of economic crisis.
He said the cuts had forced healthcare staff to
work in “extraordinarily difficult circumstances”.
Health workers’ unions on Tuesday complained
that staff had not been adequately trained to
treat Ebola patients safely.

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