EU commissioner Andriukaitis: Ebola is not a threat far away

EU Commissioner Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

“We are faced with a major problem of managing it – we have no right of making the impression that the Ebola wave is somewhere else and a problem threatening some countries. If the virus spreads or mutates, it will become a global threat,” Andriukaitis said in a telephone interview with BNS from Brussels on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Lithuanian commissioner is leaving for three western African countries hit by the Ebola virus, namely, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.


The visit includes meetings with the countries’ top officials, health ministers and other officials in charge of coordinating the situation, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations. The delegation will also visit healthcare institutions and other sites of anti-epidemic efforts.

“We will make first-hand review of the situation, we will see what problems are the most acute and where the focus should be placed. We will attempt to ensure better coordination among control mechanisms, particularly at airports, we will identify the need for medical personnel and beds, and the European Union’s further response,” the commissioner told BNS.


Before leaving for the region, Andriukaitis said the situation there was “fragile”, but noted that the affected countries are getting a new understanding of the problem.

He said the risk of the virus spreading in Europe was only “theoretical”. Infected patients are currently treated in only a few EU countries, but the commissioner emphasized the need of special attention to the issue.

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