AU calls for Ebola travel bans to be lifted

AU calls for Ebola travel bans to be lifted

Monday, September 8, 2014 5:12 pm

 African Union members said Monday travel bans imposed to stem the deadly Ebola epidemic should be lifted to ensure the economic impact of the restrictions do not add to continent’s woes.

“It was agreed that as African member states we should urge all member states to lift all travel bans, so that people can move between countries, and to trade, and to open up the economic activities,” AU commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told reporters. The decision was made at the close of one-day emergency AU meeting on Ebola in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia..

Zuma said the council observed that the travel ban had affected movement of goods and services across nations and causing devastation on individuals and the economy of some of the countries.

She said countries were advised to scale up vigilance and embark on extensive screening of travellers at their departure points and the entry points to avoid further spread of the virus.

The executive council also agreed to embark on more solidarity effort through contributions of funds and medical personnel to eradicate the disease from worst hit countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

She said that the council had agreed to support the African Union Commission in its effort to deploy military doctors and civilian medical personnel to the affected countries.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the AU Peace and Security Council had mandated the commission to deploy a mission of 100 military doctors and civilian personnel to tackle the virus.

The first batch of AU Support Mission on Ebola Outbreak in West Africa consisting of 25 personnel would arrive within the week.

She said that the council had also urged the private sector, civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations to participate in campaigns to eradicate the virus.

The council appealed to the AU partners and the international community to mobilise resources and assist the affected the countries in fighting the virus.

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