Techonin - The Biological Protection Centre of the Czech Defence Ministry in Techonin is ready to accept a large number of people infected with the Ebola virus if need be, Michal Kroca, director of the military's biological protection department, told journalists today.
Centrum biologické ochrany ministerstva obrany v Těchoníně na Orlickoústecku je připraveno na nejrůznější choroby. Pokud by se v Česku objevil vyšší počet lidí s nebezpečným infekčním onemocněním, například nakažených virem ebola, byli by umístěni v tomto specializovaném zařízení. Na snímku z 11. srpna předvádějí pracovníci centra ošetřování pacienta v přetlakových oblecích. ČTK Vostárek Josef
The Prague Na Bulovce hospital is only able to accept a few such patients, Kroca said.
The facility in Techonin was modernised for the purpose at large costs in 2002-2006 and it is prepared for various diseases, he added.
"The safety measures are such that it is possible to accept, treat and isolate a patient with any infection disease, including the most serious ones such as the Ebola," Kroca said.
"It has the advantage that it is not spread by air, but only by direct contact," he added.
The hospital personnel is equipped with special clothes and the waste is burnt in the local incinerator.
The centre has 28 beds for patients with serious disease, but the capacity may be doubled if need be. There are also 100 quarantine beds.
With its 30 employees, the centre trains doctors and conducts specialised research.
Apart from soldiers who spent some time there in quarantine after foreign missions, no one has been hospitalised there, Kroca said.
The facility was established as a Warsaw Pact research centre for the protection against biological warfare in the early 1970s.
In reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it was modernised for 1.8 billion crowns.
It has the advantage of being located outside more populated areas.
The future of the centre is uncertain and its closure has also been suggested, but the military is for its maintenance.
Last year alone, its operation cost 100 million crowns.
No case of the Ebola virus has been registered in the Czech Republic.