SA limits travel amid Ebola fears
PRETORIA – Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi has detailed South African efforts to prevent patients carrying Ebola from entering South Africa
He said that cabinet had decided on a “total travel ban” for all non-South African citizens travelling from these high risk countries unless travel was absolutely necessary.
The countries Motsoaledi identified as high risk regions are Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
During a press conference on Thursday August 21, the minister outlined four types of travellers likely to enter South Africa from West African countries managing Ebola outbreaks.
They include South Africans living in West African countries, West Africans with permanent residence in South Africa, South Africans who travel to West Africa on business and West Africans wishing to visit South Africa.
Anyone entering South Africa and displaying signs associated with Ebola would be referred for medical examination.
The minister added that Cabinet had taken measures to enhance surveillance, offer private and public hospitals guidelines, identify health facilities for treating patients, offering training and establishing a hotline for clinicians at the National Institute for Communicable diseases.
eNCA reporter Dianne Hawker attending the briefing during which the minister detailed some of the costs involved in testing for the virus.
He said cabinet had approved funding requested by the Department of Health to safeguard the Southern African Development Community (SADC) against an Ebola outbreak.
To date no reported cases of Ebola have emerged from any of the SADC countries.
- Erin Bates and Dianne Hawker