Date
18 November 2017
As concerns grow about the potential spread of Ebola, authorities in many countries are stepping up screening and other measures on visitors from affected countries in West Africa. Photo: Reuters
As concerns grow about the potential spread of Ebola, authorities in many countries are stepping up screening and other measures on visitors from affected countries in West Africa. Photo: Reuters

US isolates troops, Australia imposes visa ban amid Ebola scare

The US military has started isolating soldiers returning from an Ebola response mission in West Africa as concerns mount about the spread of the virus, Reuters reported.

Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno ordered the 21-day monitoring period for returning soldiers “to ensure soldiers, family members and their surrounding communities are confident that we are taking all steps necessary to protect their health”, the report said 

The Army isolated about a dozen soldiers on their return during the weekend to their home base in Vicenza, Italy. That included Major General Darryl Williams, the commander who oversaw the military’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

“We are billeted in a separate area (on the base). There’s no contact with the general population or with family. No one will be walking around Vicenza,” Williams told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The US military has repeatedly stressed that its personnel are not interacting with Ebola patients and are instead building treatment units to help health authorities battle the epidemic. 

Meanwhile, in another part of the world, Australia on Monday issued a blanket ban on visas from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa to prevent the disease reaching the country, Reuters said.

The decision to refuse entry for anyone from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia was touted by the government as a necessary safety precaution, but was criticized by experts and advocates as politically motivated and shortsighted.

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RC

 

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