Pentagon orders to quarantine troops, returning from Ebola-hit West African countries

October 31, 2014 6:36 am 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signed an order to place all US military service members returning from Ebola-stricken West African countries into a 21-day quarantine-like monitoring program, US Department of Defense said in a statement.

"Secretary Hagel signed an order that validated a recommendation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to place all US military service members, returning from Ebola response efforts in West Africa, into a 21-day controlled monitoring regimen," the statement issued Wednesday by the US Department of Defense read. "This order will apply to all military services that are contributing to the fight against Ebola at its source."

Hagel has also directed the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide logistics on how the program could be applied to all of the service members from the West African response team who would be entering the program upon their return to the United States, according to the statement.

US Defense Secretary also asked the Joint Chiefs to conduct a review of the program within 45 days that will offer recommendations on whether controlled monitoring should continue after the first group of military personnel is finished with initial monitoring.

The United States began sending troops to West Africa in September and plans to have some 4,000 troops in the region. The initiative is part of the Operations United Assistance mission to provide logistics and assistance to local heath and military personnel, who are fighting the deadly disease, according to the US Department of Defense.

On Monday, several US states began a 3-week monitoring program for travelers, coming from Ebola-stricken West African countries along with a 21-day mandatory quarantine for health care workers, who helped to fight Ebola in the region to keep track of potential Ebola patients and prevent the pandemic.

In West Africa, more than 4,900 people have died from the current Ebola outbreak that started in Guinea at the end of 2013, according to recent World Health Organization (WHO) estimates. WHO also estimates that there have been 10,141 cases of Ebola in the region. (PNA/RIA Novosti)

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