Botswana Imposes Travel Restrictions Over Ebola

| August 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

In a telephone interview with Xinhua yesterday, Doreen Motshegwa, the spokesperson for the health ministry said Batswana (Botswana citizens) are aised to suspend or postpone travel to the affected countries, and everyone entering Botswana would be subjected to screening at entry points.
According to the official Botswana Press Agency, the restrictions will apply until the spread of the Ebola virus is contained.
Exchange programmes and training in the public service between infected countries and Botswana were also suspended until further notice.
Meanwhile, Members of Parliament in the Gambia called on Tuesday for an extraordinary session of the regional bloc Ecowas over concerns of the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
The members have urged Ecowas parliamentarians to facilitate an extraordinary session in consultation with relevant stakeholders in the region in order to strategise measures to contain the deadly Ebola virus.
“We enjoined Gambia Ecowas parliamentarians to facilitate an extraordinary session in consultation with their Ecowas colleagues in order to strategise measures to contain the deadly Ebola virus”, Honourable Kalifa Jammeh, National Assembly member for Bakau said.
“The virus is affecting West African countries and its people and it is a general concern to address the issue before it will go out of control,” Jammeh noted.
“The outbreaks have also affected the movement of the people from one West African nation to another. All the flights have been banned from picking passengers from the affected countries”, Demba Baldeh National Assembly member for Niani said.
In another development, the Kenyan government said yesterday it has stepped up surveillance at points of entry following alert from WHO that the country is highly vulnerable to transmission of the deadly virus.
Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered state agencies to intensify surveillance measures at the main airports and borders.
“The Ministry of Health has been closely monitoring the evolution of Ebola outbreak in West Africa and have adopted stringent measures to prevent importation of cases into the country,” Macharia told journalists in Nairobi.
So far, the Kenyan government has ruled out any Ebola case following thorough screening on passengers originating from West Africa, he said. More than 10 000 travellers from West Africa have been screened.
The health cabinet secretary noted heavy human traffic from Ebola hotspots has increased Kenya’s vulnerability.
To strengthen Ebola detection, the government has established temporary holding rooms at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Macharia said an additional isolation facility will be established at a public hospital in Nairobi.
“Assessment for potential isolation facilities is on-going in four counties and towns near ports of entry into Kenya,” Macharia said.
Macharia revealed that 100 health workers have been trained on Ebola management and an additional 200 will be trained in the next three weeks.
WHO has elevated Ebola risk levels to group 2 in Kenya based on its position as a regional transport hub and massive human traffic in the porous borders.
WHO Country Director Custodia Mandlhate said Kenya has been classified as at high risk of transmission.
It said the East African nation was a major transport hub in the region receiving 76 flights a week making it vulnerable to Ebola.
The government has confirmed it has not aised the national carrier, Kenya Airways or any other airlines from flying to or from West Africa.
Kenya Airways incoming CEO Mbuvi Nguze said the airline will not stop its flights to the four countries which have been affected by Ebola despite the UN health agency declaring the situation emergency.
Meanwhile, China’s assistance has rejuvenated the fight against Ebola in West Africa, an official at the WHO said yesterday.
“China has joined the global community to boost the fight against Ebola in West Africa. The country’s support in terms of medical equipment, personnel and commodities is timely,” said Custodia Mandlhate, the WHO representative for Kenya.
Ebola, which spreads through body fluids, has so far killed 1, 013 people in West Africa out of 1848 infections.

Source : The Herald

Category: General, News

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