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Caribbean countries implement travel ban

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines has placed a ban on nationals from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Guinea from entering the island, as Caribbean countries continue to put in place measures to prevent a possible outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the region.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that the measure was taken given the lack of infrastructure on the island to deal with the Ebola virus for there is no known cure.

Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea are the three West African countries most affected by the Ebola virus which has killed more than 4,500 people so far.

“Because we didn’t consider that we had the infrastructure, necessarily, to deal with an onrush of people if they were to come from any of those West African countries which we have named specifical­ly,” Gonsalves said.

Meanwhile, St. Lucia became the third country within the OECS to place an immediate ban on nationals from West African countries entering the country.

A government statement said Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has advised the Commissioner of Police Vernon Francois to implement with “immediate effect, a prohibition on persons from these countries who wish to travel to St. Lucia.”

“All visitors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will be denied entry into St. Lucia until further notice,” the statement said.

Last week, the Grenada government said it is considering suspending travel visas to nationals from the same countries, as it moves to prevent any occurrence of the virus.

The government said the mortality rates are climbing in the affected countries and the potential of spread becoming more and more imminent, the move to suspend the visa could soon be taken.

Posted 12:00 am, October 17, 2014
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