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Guyana bans travellers from West Africa to stave off Ebola

Guyana has banned persons travelling from Ebola- affected West African countries, in an effort to stave off the deadly disease that has already claimed thousands of lives, government announced on Thursday.

“The Cabinet strongly supported the restrictions and those restrictions apply to arrival from the affected West African States… their arrival, they will not be provided with visas to enter Guyana,” said Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon.

He shrugged off suggestions about the impact that such travel restrictions would have on offshore medical schools whose student population includes large numbers of students from the African continent.

“It would be easy to subsume the interest of the universities, private and otherwise, to the demands of the citizenry of this country,” he said.

He said the decision to refuse visas to West Africans was taken after a special session to Cabinet on October 11, 2014.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that 4,493 persons have died in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Nigeria.  About 8,997 of confirmed, probable and suspected cases have been reported as of October 12.

Government intends to also procure safety supplies and medicines as well as train more than 1,500 persons to deal with the disease.

Isolation areas are also being identified at Ports of Entry and hospitals to attend to suspected and confirmed Ebola cases.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis have already imposed similar restrictions.