At a time when Ebola virus is spreading rapidly in West Africa, the demand made by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union (AU) sounds outrageous. Speaking at the end of a crisis summit on Ebola which took place on Monday , in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Dlamini-Zuma called on member states to remove travel restrictions so that people can move and trade. “We must be careful not to introduce measures that may have more social and economic impact than the disease itself,” Dlamini-Zuma said.
Politicians, business leaders and aid organizations have called for the lifting of travel restrictions on Ebola affected nations. They say consequences of travel bans are more serious than the virus itself.
Up to 400,000 people suffer from hunger in Ebola affected regions as a result of blocking trade routes.
Many countries have in recent weeks closed their borders to Ebola affected nations. International airlines have also suspended flights to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in a desperate bid to prevent the virus from spreading to other countries.
However what is important: What is important, the WHO worker says, is to focus on the regions where the virus is spreading particularly quickly. [socialpoll id=”2220595″]
THE World Health Organisation (WHO), which raised the death toll to nearly 2300, has predicted an “exponential increase” in infection across west Africa, and warned that Liberia in particular will face thousands of new cases in the coming weeks.
“We are overwhelmed. The patients keep coming in (huge) numbers. Yesterday we received up to 30 patients,” Sophie Jane, a spokeswoman for Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF), said at the aid agency’s Ebola unit in Monrovia. read more
There is a severe lack of hospital beds, and suspected victims of Ebola are reportedly turned back to their communities or left waiting outside medical facilities, aggravating the risk of further contagion. read more
“The fact that people that are highly trained are getting infected is because the number of cases is bigger than the bed capacity,” said Jorge Castilla, an epidemiologist with the EU’s department for humanitarian aid. Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from the UN in New York, said it was the first time the UNSC were discussing the matter, illustrating that Ebola was rapidly becoming a security threat. read more