South Africa’s cabinet on Thursday issued a travel ban for non-citizens arriving from Ebola-hit West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said South Africans coming from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone or Nigeria would be questioned and medically examined, if necessary.
Also, a spokesman for South Africa’s health ministry, Jo Maila said the travel ban would be in place for as long as necessary.
South Africa’s health ministry said its country’s citizens would be asked to postpone trips to those countries indefinitely and only allowed to travel if it is absolutely essential.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Kenya and Zambia had also imposed a similar ban while several African countries have restricted air travel to the worst hit Ebola regions.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged airlines and countries to avoid isolating the three West African nations.
The UN health agency said “Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear and even then it requires bodily fluid to spread by contact.’’
It added that contracting the disease during air travel was extremely unlikely and blanket bans and flight restrictions threatened fragile economies.
According to WHO, the death toll from Ebola virus has reached 1,350 people as at Aug. 18.
Five deaths have been reported in Nigeria out of 12 confirmed cases since July 20.