Visa on arrival for 4 African countries suspended over Ebola scare

Saturday, 23 August 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Government yesterday took early measures on preventing the entry of the deadly Ebola virus by temporarily suspending on-arrival visa facilities for four selected countries. In a move to protect the country against the spread of the virus, the Ministry of External Affairs said on-arrival visa has been suspended until further notice for Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Guinea. A source from the Ministry of External Affairs said the decision was made following a request made by the Ministry of Health, as a precautionary action. The preventive measure was taken shortly after the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced earlier this week that there have been 2,473 confirmed, probable and suspect cases of the virus, including 221 new cases, in the four countries. The number of deaths caused by virus that has been rapidly spreading in West Africa in recent months has risen to at least 1,350 people in that region, according to the WHO. The most recent statistics show that deaths are increasing fastest in Liberia, where at least 576 people have died. The WHO states that the majority of Ebola cases are a result of human-to-human transmission and failure to apply appropriate infection prevention and control measures in home care, some clinical settings and burial rituals. The virus is spread through direct contact with blood, urine, saliva and other bodily fluids from an infected person. Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two outbreaks in Nzara, Sudan and Yambuku and Democratic Republic of Congo.