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HSE finalising tender for handling Ebola ‘contaminated waste’

The HSE has nearly completed its preparation to tender for applications for handling Ebola virus disease (EVD) waste in Ireland. The HSE’s Emergency Management Service 2019 Operation Plan states that the Executive would be moving towards a “complete procurement process for disposal of EVD contaminated waste”.

A HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that this process is near completion with the preparation of the tender “in its final stages”.

“The procurement process referred to involves a tendering process inviting applications for handling biological waste associated with EVD in Ireland,” said the spokesperson.

“The process around this aspect of EVD planning is in the final stages.”

The Department of Health told MI that it has been advised by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) that the risk of Ebola coming to Ireland remains “low”. There have been no cases reported in Ireland.

During the summer the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the current outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) an official public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

The emergency management service plan 2019 also mentioned HSE plans to clarify what arrangements have been implemented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the aeromedical evacuation for potential Ebola patients.

An Executive spokesperson said that this planning refers to Irish citizens abroad. “Planning has taken place and is ongoing in this area. DFAT is responsible for the detail…”

MI asked DFAT whether such arrangements had been put in place. In response the DFAT spokesperson said: “The Department is closely following developments in the DRC and neighbouring countries and is working closely with our missions in the area, EU partners and other State agencies to ensure we can provide appropriate consular assistance should it be required.”

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