Sri Lanka suspends on-arrival visa for four African countries on Ebola threat

Source:Xinhua: Sri Lanka’s government suspended on-arrival visa for four African countries to lessen the chances of Ebola reaching the island nation, a statement from the External Affairs Ministry said on Friday.

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.

“The decision was made following a request made by the Ministry of Health, as a precautionary action,” a source from the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The Sri Lankan government has already put in place checks at the airport and appealed to about 200 migrant workers in West Africa to return.

Blood sample from a woman who died in a remote hospital with symptoms similar to Ebola has also been sent to India for testing, local media reported. But local health officials have assured it is highly unlikely the patient died of Ebola.

The suspension was taken shortly after the World Health Organization (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.

Number of deaths caused by the virus that has been rapidly spreading in West Africa in recent months has risen to at least 1, 350 in that region, according the WHO.

The most recent statistics showed that deaths are increasing fastest in Liberia, where at least 576 people have died.

The WHO states that 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.

[Via Global Times]

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