In the wake of South African Cabinet Issues Ebola Related Travel Restrictions yesterday, we’ve word overnight that Senegal – Guinea’s neighbor to the north – has closed their shared border and have imposed new controls over commerce and transportation between the two nations.
The Interior Ministry in Dakar announced late on Thursday that it would seek to shut off access to Guinea, which borders the southeast of Senegal.
Despite advice to the contrary from the World Health Organization, the hard hit nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are increasingly being isolated by their neighbors – and by the international community – as they struggle contain this Ebola epidemic.
Some airlines have either canceled, or announced plans to curb, service to the region making it difficult for relief efforts to get personnel or supplies in and out, and severely impacting the local economies.
This, despite consistent messaging from the WHO that air travel - even to and from Ebola stricken nations – is considered low risk.
The WHO’s most recent statement on the issue of travel restrictions reads:
WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions be applied except in cases where individuals have been confirmed or are suspected of being infected with EVD or where individuals have had contact with cases of EVD.
Regardless of its scientific or humanitarian merit, this is a message that is having a hard time competing against the daily barrage of horrific images and reporting coming out of the Ebola affected regions.