News / Africa

    South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

    • Liberian security forces hem in protesters after clashes at West Point neighborhood in Monrovia, Aug. 20, 2014.
    • Members of Liberian security forces talk with a protester in the West Point neighborhood in Monrovia Aug. 20, 2014.
    • West Point residents flee during clashes with security forces. Monrovia, Aug. 20, 2014.
    • Liberian security forces patrol a street after clashes at West Point neighborhood in Monrovia, Aug. 20, 2014.
    • A marketplace stands empty in the West Point quarantined neighborhood of Liberia's capital Monrovia, Aug. 20, 2014.
    Protesters Clash With Security Forces in Monrovia.
    VOA News

    South Africa said on Thursday that due to fears over the spread of the Ebola virus it was banning travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from entering the country, apart from its own citizens.

    South Africans returning home from these areas will be permitted entry but undergo a strict screening process, a health ministry statement said.

    “For citizens of South Africa who wish to travel to these countries, they will be requested to delay their travels unless it is also absolutely essential for them to travel to these countries,” Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said.

    Ebola outbreaks, deaths in east Africa, as of August 20, 2014Ebola outbreaks, deaths in east Africa, as of August 20, 2014
    x
    Ebola outbreaks, deaths in east Africa, as of August 20, 2014
    Ebola outbreaks, deaths in east Africa, as of August 20, 2014

    The deadly Ebola disease has killed more than 1,300 people this year in the three small west African states and also has a toehold in Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy.

    Travelers from Nigeria, where there is a much smaller outbreak, will be allowed entry.

    South Africa has so far been Ebola-free despite two scares in as many weeks: a South African man returning from Liberia and a Guinean woman.

    Both tested negative.

    Johannesburg is a major hub for air travel between southern Africa and the rest of the continent. And, like many other African countries, it has taken up the travel ban in an attempt to contain the hemorrhagic virus and stop in spreading across the continent.

    Congo deaths

    At least 70 people have died in northern Democratic Republic of Congo from an outbreak of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday, denying that the illness was Ebola.

    A WHO report dated Thursday and seen by Reuters said that 592 people had contracted the disease, of whom 70 died. Five health care workers, including one doctor, are among the dead.

    Symptoms of the two diseases are similar; they include vomiting, diarrhea and internal bleeding.

    But the fatality rate for this outbreak of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is much lower than the West Africa Ebola outbreak, at about 12 percent versus nearly 60 percent.

    “This is not Ebola,” a WHO spokesman said in an email to Reuters on Thursday.

    Kinshasa sent its health minister, Felix Kabange Numbi, and a team of experts on Wednesday to the region after reports of several deaths.

    The hemorrhagic gastroenteritis outbreak began in the remote jungle province of Equateur where the first case of Ebola was reported in 1976, prompting speculation that it was the same illness.

    WHO to discuss possible treatments

    Also Thursday, the WHO said it would convene talks early next month on potential treatments and  vaccines to contain the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

    The talks on Sept. 4-5 in Geneva will discuss safety and efficacy of experimental therapies and how to expedite clinical trials and ramp up production, it said.

    ZMapp is one of several experimental treatments and vaccines for Ebola that are currently undergoing investigation.

    At present, supplies of all are extremely limited,'' the WHO said in a statement. It was referring to a U.S.-made trial drug, used on six patients to date, supplies of which are now exhausted.

    In Liberia, a tense calm is reported in the West Point area of the capital, Monrovia, a day after riot police clashed with residents who tried to break a quarantine placed on the area in an attempt to contain the spread of Ebola.

    At least four people were injured Wednesday when police fired bullets and tear gas to disperse stone-throwing protesters who were upset by the sudden blockade of roads in and out of their neighborhood. 

    A nationwide curfew is also in place in an effort to halt the spread of the virus.

    Liberia has been hit especially hard by the outbreak. WHO said 90 percent of new Ebola deaths reported have occurred there. 

    UN expert

    Meanwhile Thursday, the United Nations public health expert charged with coordinating global efforts to fight the spread of the virus was headed to Liberia.

    David Nabarro has said his visit will focus on plans to revitalize health sectors in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the four countries where outbreaks have taken place.

    The WHO says just under 2,500 people have been infected by the virus, with more than 1,350 people dying from it.

    Elsewhere, Guinea has started deploying civilian and military medical officers to its borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia as part of efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola virus.

    Health Minister Colonel Remy Lamah said the first of the health workers left for the border checkpoints at Forecariah and Gueckedou Macenta late on Wednesday, where they would create a "sanitary barrier" and control suspected cases and contacts.

    There are a total of 41 checkpoints where over 105 health workers are needed, officials said.

    Also, the Health Service Executive (HSE) of Ireland said in a statement on Thursday that the country's health service is carrying out tests on a suspected case of the Ebola virus in a deceased person who recently returned from Africa.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.

    You May Like

    Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Joshua from: Canada
    September 07, 2014 7:17 PM
    Why don't they find out what ebola is made of and have a test of what every organism is weak of

    by: Tony P from: USA
    August 21, 2014 2:09 PM
    Is there reciprocal monitoring of workers in the West African oil drill platform and food supply to such both international and domestic, USA, British, (USA Gulf workers ) in particular?

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.