ROME, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Italy will send to Sierra Leone medication for the Ebola virus that has recently been tested by the Military Chemical and Pharmaceutical Institute in Florence, Italian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said on a Rai Uno radio program.
The new medicine may become an effective cure for Ebola virus and will be sent to Sierra Leone in the near future, Lorenzin said Wednesday.
The minister added that a "wave of excessive panic" has already seized Italians. Around four to six Italians turn to public health authorities daily suspecting that they have Ebola. However, there have been no cases of the virus reported on the Apennine Peninsula. Lorenzin noted that a free hotline will be established soon so that Italian residents can turn to specialists to dispel their fears.
Lorenzin expressed strong disapproval of the recent proposal by opposition party Lega Nord to revoke the Schengen Agreement, and called it politicized and harmful for public health and the economy.
The current Ebola epidemic started in southern Guinea in February and later spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal, with several Ebola cases having been reported outside of West Africa. Senegal and Nigeria have already been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. Though there is no officially approved medication for the disease, several countries are currently working on developing Ebola vaccines.
According to the latest WHO report, 9,936 people are currently infected, with the disease having killed 4,877 so far.