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Jamaica bans travellers from Ebola infected countries

Featured Jamaica bans travellers from Ebola infected countries
KINGSTON, Jamaica, October 17, 2014,– As Caribbean countries continue to put in place measures to deal with a possible outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the region, Jamaica has joined St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Kitts/ Nevis  in placing  a ban on nationals from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea entering their countries.

The Jamaica travel ban extends to persons living in  Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and those who have travelled to or transited through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, within 28 days of having departed from these countries.

The travel ban extends to Commonwealth citizens, not citizens of Jamaica, who have travelled to or transited through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone within 28 days of their arrival to Jamaica.

CARICOM nationals benefitting from the free movement regime are also subject to the landing restriction, which is a temporary measure necessary for the protection of human and animal health.

Jamaican citizens and residents, who have travelled to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone within 28 days of their arrival will be quarantined in the interest of public health and national security upon their arrival.

According to the World Health Organization the present Ebola outbreak is the largest and most complex since the discovery of the disease in 1976; hence this decision has been made against the background of the outbreak in West Africa since March 2014, and its continued increasing threat to world health and security of Jamaican citizens.

St. Vincent’s Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said his country has taken the measure given the lack of infrastructure on the island to deal with the Ebola virus for which there is no known cure.

 “Because we didn’t consider that we had the infrastructure, necessarily, to deal with an onrush of people if they were to come from any of those West African countries which we have named specifically,” Gonsalves said.

“Amidst tougher immigration and border control restrictions currently being employed in some countries and contemplated by others, the Government has decided to adopt this measure in the best interest of safeguarding the Public Health of the country.”

The Federation of St. Kitts/Nevis have also prohibited persons from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea from entering that country until further notice.

On Tuesday, the Grenada government said it was considering suspending travel visas to nationals from the West African countries, noting that with the mortality rates climbing in the affected countries and the potential of spread becoming more and more eminent, the move to suspend the visa could soon be taken.

The Keith Mitchell government said that the measure is being discussed against the “background that there is no readily available vaccine to protect ones-self against the disease, no available medicines to treat the condition and the recognition that the introduction of one case of the disease could potentially undermine the health and financial infrastructure of the country”.

 

Last modified onFriday, 17 October 2014 06:05

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