Bunting says regional military forces must begin to plan for Ebola threat to national security
Jamaica’s National Security Minister says the military forces of Caribbean and Latin American countries should now start planning to deal with public emergencies arising from a possible Ebola outbreak.
Speaking after a conference of defense ministers in Peru, Bunting referred to pronouncements by the World Health Organisation that the deadly virus has now led to a crisis for international peace and security.
Against that background, Bunting said the Ebola epidemic should now be treated as a threat to national security.
He is urging the military forces of the Caribbean to prepare for a likely outbreak in the hemisphere.
"It is timely that our militaries who have great experience in disaster response and emergency management start to plan for the eventuality of an outbreak," he said.
The National Security Minister says the Jamaican delegation at the conference was seeking technical information on the establishment and management of military health systems in emergency situations.
According to Bunting, the devastation caused by the virus in West Africa is clear evidence that the region must not take the threats Ebola lightly.
He said the countries of the Americas must act together, if they are to prevent the spread of Ebola and other diseases throughout the region.
Since it was identified in March, the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,000 people in the worst-hit West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.
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