SA issues Ebola travel ban

Pretoria - Cabinet has issued a travel ban for non-South Africans from Ebola infested countries, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Thursday.

He said South Africans coming from such West African countries would be questioned, and medically examined if need be.

AFP reports that 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.

"A total travel ban for all non-citizens travelling from these high-risk countries [Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone], unless the travel is considered absolutely essential," he told reporters in Pretoria.

"For citizens of South Africa who wish to travel to these countries, they will be requested to delay their travel unless it is absolutely essential for them to travel."

He said South Africans coming from such West African countries would be subjected to a strict screening process, and medically examined if need be.

They would have to complete a comprehensive health questionnaire before being granted entry into the country.

"If the comprehensive medical and the temperature screening reveal something, they will have to subject themselves to a complete medical examination."

For people from medium- and low-risk countries, including Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia, the normal surveillance processes would continue.

Cabinet met in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The death toll in the latest outbreak of Ebola in West Africa already exceeds 1 350 and is expected to rise.

Several airlines have cancelled flights to and from the affected countries.

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