Caribbean, South American Countries Close Borders to Combat Ebola

Caribbean, South American Countries Close Borders to Combat Ebola

Colombia, Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago have all announced travel bans as Ebola concerns grow.

Colombian authorities announced that anyone entering their country from Ebola-stricken countries will face heavy scrutiny. Colombia’s National Health Institutes have said they developed a questionnaire to determine who should be under suspicion of potentially having contact with Ebola. Colombian newspapers have reported that some have already been detained due to the newly instituted executive actions. Fernando Ruiz, Colombia’s vice minister of health, said of the reports, “The cases are not suspicious. They are simply people who have traveled to places where Ebola is present. That is the reason for their medical observation.” He added, “The three cases are not under strict surveillance. Their temperature is measured two times a day for 21 days. At this moment, we are not alerted or worried. The individuals seem healthy. Two of them already completed their observation period.”

The Jamaican government on Thursday authorized an immediate travel ban against persons traveling from the Ebola-affected nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Jamaican authorities said that anyone who has traveled into the three West African countries in the last twenty-eight days is forbidden from entering their country. Jamaican citizens who have traveled to the African lands within the past twenty-eight days will be subject to quarantine.

On Thursday, the government of Trinidad and Tobago banned entry to visitors arriving from several African countries which have had documented Ebola infections. Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister Dr. Fuad Khan said that anyone arriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, or Nigeria will be forbidden from entry. Citizens who have traveled to those countries within the past six weeks will be quarantined for 21 days, the Health Ministry reported.

The government of Guyana also announced that its diplomatic services overseas were told not to extend visas to individuals from the Ebola-affected West African nations.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced that he disagrees with a travel ban to and from Ebola-stricken nations and told reporters that “a flat-out travel ban is not the way to go.”

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