Senegal takes measures to prevent Ebola; closes borders


Senegal on Friday become the latest African country to restrict travel as a result of the Ebola outbreak, closing its borders to neighbouring Guinea.Ebola

“This measure also applies to air and maritime borders, to planes and ships coming from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia,” Interior Minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo was quoted by the Senegalese Press Agency as saying.

Security and defence forces will ensure “rigorously” that the order is implemented, the minister added.

Numerous African countries have restricted air, land and water travel in the region, causing a significant impact on the economy and on food security, according to the World Food Programme.

Senegal’s decision comes shortly after South Africa cabinet issued a travel ban for non-citizens arriving from Ebola-hit countries.

South Africans coming from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone or Nigeria are to be questioned and medically examined if necessary, said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

Meanwhile, the widow of a Liberian-American who brought the first case of Ebola to Nigeria has apologized on behalf of her husband.

Liberian government consultant Patrick Sawyer died from Ebola in late July after travelling from Liberia to Lagos.

Sawyer, who collapsed upon arrival at Lagos’s airport, was ordered by Liberian health workers to remain under observation, after his sister had died of the virus on July 7.

“I believe his actions were that of a desperate man,” said his wife, Decontee Sawyer, who lives in the American city of Minneapolis, in Minnesota, in an email to local daily Leadership.

She said she shared the pain of those infected with the virus in Nigeria and their families.

“I want to … express how deeply saddened and sorry I am for their loss and their pain …. I pray for all of the families whose loved ones were taken away,” wrote Decontee Sawyer.

Since Patrick Sawyer’s death, four Nigerians have died from Ebola, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Fifteen suspected or confirmed cases have been reported, while about 190 people are under surveillance.

In West Africa, 1,350 people have died from the outbreak so far, according the WHO, and 2,473 suspected or confirmed cases have been reported in the region.

Ebola causes massive haemorrhaging and has a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent. It is transmitted through contact with blood and other body fluids.


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