Ebola: Miners in lock-down in Guinea

2014-04-03 10:03
A 43 year old Congolese patient, who has been confirmed to have Ebola hemorrhagic fever, following laboratory tests, is comforted by a Medecins Sans Frontieres Doctor. (Christopher Black, HO, AP, WHO, File)

A 43 year old Congolese patient, who has been confirmed to have Ebola hemorrhagic fever, following laboratory tests, is comforted by a Medecins Sans Frontieres Doctor. (Christopher Black, HO, AP, WHO, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Conakry/Geneva - Foreign mining firms have locked down operations in Guinea and pulled out some international staff, executives said on Wednesday, as the death toll from suspected cases of Ebola there hit 84.

The West African nation's government said four new suspected cases of one of the world's most lethal infectious diseases had been reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 134.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has warned Guinea was facing an unprecedented epidemic of Ebola that would test weak health systems across West Africa.

Suspected cases of the disease - which has a fatality rate of up to 90% - have also been reported in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, while Gambia said two people had been quarantined after arriving from south-eastern Guinea.

The epicentre of Guinea's two-month old outbreak has been in the southeast, close to its main iron ore reserves. The country is also the world's top exporter of bauxite, the raw material used in aluminium production, and has rich deposits gold.

"Everyone is practising precautionary strict hygiene but there has been no real impact on production so far," a senior executive at a mining company told Reuters, asking not to be named.

The executive said he had been placed on extended leave, while other companies were preventing people from entering or leaving their mines.

Miners concerned about capital

Firms were more concerned by what was happening in the densely populated capital Conakry than in remote mining sites in the interior, where controls were easier to put in place, he added.

The UN's World Health Organisation (WHO) has so far reported 12 suspected cases and four deaths in the ocean-front city of 2 million people.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said all the cases in Conakry were linked to one man who came from the central Guinean town of Dobala, about 300km away.

"Unfortunately, this one person infected both family members and health care workers when he went to Conakry for medical attention and died," Hartl told Reuters in Geneva.

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale said its VBG joint venture with BSG Resources (BSGR) - the mining arm of Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz's business conglomerate - had pulled its six international staff out of Guinea.

"The expatriates have been transferred temporarily to their home countries," Vale said in an emailed statement in Brazil. "The local employees ... have been given leave from work until there is more accurate information about the risks of the disease."

There has not been any official statement from the chamber of mines but the executive said mining firms had been calling each other to discuss the best response. "People are locking down camps and keeping movements to a minimum," the executive added.

Neighbouring Senegal has closed its land borders with Guinea, and countries across the region have taken precautionary measures, including banning the sale and consumption of bats, a regional delicacy but an animal believed to be a vector for the virus.
Read more on:    guinea  |  health  |  west africa  |  ebola
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.