According to allafrica.com, following the death of a Liberian victim of the deadly Ebola virus in the country, Ghana has banned flights from Nigeria and other West African countries. The Managing Director, Ghana Airport Company, Charles Asare, said it was part of elaborate emergency measures the authorities were implementing to prevent the virus from spreading into the West African country.
Also, restrictions have been imposed on the movement of Liberian refugees who are still at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in the country. Ever since its outbreak, the Ebola virus has claimed the lives of over 600 victims in the West African sub-region. Ghana also bans flight from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Ghana’s Health Ministry also announced that efforts were underway to establish Ebola treatment centres across the country.The country’s Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, advised Ghanaians to be patient because government was doing its best to protect the citizens. “It is worth bearing in mind that preparedness is not an event but a process,” he said.
Though a suspected fever case which was reported at a clinic in Ghana was negative, Ghanaians have expressed fear about the possible spread of the disease in the country due to closeness to the four countries where deaths have been recorded. Governments in the sub-region are putting in place stringent measures to prevent the further spread of the disease.
According to the health minister, the disease surveillance system in Ghana has been placed on “high alert through intensification of viral haemorrhagic fever surveillance, the field officers are on the alert to pick, package and transport specimens to the lab for confirmation.” The respective health officers at Ghana’s ports have been given orientation in the detection of cases at points of entry.
“We have activated a system for screening all passengers especially from countries that have recorded cases,” Agyeman-Mensah added. The health minister gave the assurance that his outfit was monitoring the progression of the Ebola disease in West African nations. But the Federal Government had said that there was no outbreak.
The General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Fan Ndubouke, said that the agency was not aware of such a development. He said, “We are not aware of any such thing, we have confirmed from Arik Air and Aero Contractors which are the two airlines that fly to Ghana from Nigeria, and Arik has confirmed to us that they haven’t received such notice.
“We are still trying to get Aero to confirm, but I can tell you that from NCAA’s angle, there is nothing like that.” The Spokesman, Aero Contractors, Mr. Simon Tunba, told our correspondent that Aero had not heard anything like that. “We have not heard anything concerning such, and have not seen any letter to that effect.” Efforts to reach Arik for comments could not yield as at press time.