September 23, 2020

Caribbean governments impose bans on travel from Ebola-stricken countries


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By Gavin Lipsith From The Moodie Report

EbolaBanLATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN. Jamaica and Colombia are among several countries in the Caribbean and South America to have implemented bans on arrivals from the Ebola-affected region of West Africa – some of them including restrictions on visitors from Nigeria, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The Jamaican government has issued an immediate travel ban against “certain persons travelling directly or indirectly from or through” Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The ban includes residents of those countries as well as people who have travelled to or transited through them in the past 28 days. The ban does not apply to Jamaican citizens and residents, who will be quarantined upon arrival in Jamaica if initial screening indicates a risk of Ebola.

The Jamaican Ministry of National Security says its response is informed by World Health Organization guidance

The statement from the Jamaican Ministry of National Security said Jamaica’s response was informed by World Health Organization (WHO) guidance for control of outbreaks.

The Jamaican government reported that a US citizen who had arrived in Jamaica from the USA yesterday, and who had travelled to Liberia two weeks ago, had departed for the USA. The man was screened by immigration officers and by officials from the Ministry of Health and was found not to be exhibiting any Ebola symptoms.

The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that it had been denying entry to some travellers from African countries – adding Nigeria and Senegal to the three countries where the outbreak is focused.

The Colombian Ministry of Affairs has included visitors Nigeria and Senegal in its restrictions

The restrictions apply to passengers who have been in the countries in the four weeks before arriving in Colombia. Consulates are adding health assessment questionnaires to the visa application process.

In Saint Lucia, visitors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will be denied entry until further notice. Visitors from Nigeria will be required to present a “recent” medical certificate declaring them free of the virus, as well as an entry visa.

Saint Lucia’s Health Ministry said: “We believe that the decision to ban the entry of visitors who have a recent history of travel from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, is in the best interests of a developing country such as Saint Lucia.”

The Ministry of Health in Saint Lucia said a ban was “in the best interests of a developing country”

In Guyana, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon announced that no visas would be issued to travellers arriving from the stricken countries, or Senegal or Nigeria.

“The [Cabinet] meeting strongly supported calls for aggressive travel restrictions by Guyana and the introduction and intensification of surveillance methods at ports of entry,” Dr Luncheon stated.

The Guyana Health Ministry is training 1,600 people to deal with any suspected Ebola cases.

A report in the Trinidad Express claims that Trinidad & Tobago Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan has announced a ban on visitors arriving from the three West African countries as well as Senegal, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Anyone who has entered those countries in the previous six weeks will also be denied entry.

Other Caribbean countries to have imposed travel bans include Saint Vincent and Saint Kitts & Nevis.

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Related story:

Antigua latest Caribbean nation to ban nationals from Ebola-affected countries

From Jamaica Observer

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) — Antigua and Barbuda has become the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to issue a ban on travellers from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.

Director of Communication Maurice Merchant told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the Gaston Browne-led cabinet agreed to travel restrictions on passengers coming from Liberia, Guinea and Liberia. The deadly disease has been prevalent in West African nations.

As part of the restriction, St John’s will discontinue issuing to the three African states hardest hit by the Ebola virus. Passengers who are known to have visited those countries within the last three weeks will not be allowed entry to the country

Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana have effected similar restrictions as the disease, for which there is no cure, spreads to other parts of the world including the United States and Spain.

Symptoms of the virus tend to show two to 21 days after infection. They include, high fever, headache, joint and muscle and stomach pain. An estimated 4,500 people have died from the disease and the World Health Organization (WHO) projects as many as 20,000 cases by November if efforts to curtail the disease are not stepped up.

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