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ANTIGUA-Antigua bans travellers from West Africa

ST JOHN’S – “Effective immediately,” Antigua & Barbuda has instituted a travel ban on people coming from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the three West African countries currently stricken with a significant number of cases of the deadly Ebola virus.

In an exclusive interview last evening, Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph said the decision was made yesterday and follows a presentation by the Ministry of Health, to the Cabinet, on Wednesday.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Oritta Zachariah made the presentation in the presence of other health officials, including Minister Joseph, Chief Health Inspector Lionel Michael and Dr James Knight.

In a prepared statement the minister said: “All travellers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will not be allowed to enter Antigua & Barbuda and the granting of visas for these countries has been suspended. The decision also applies to anyone who travels to Antigua & Barbuda within 21 days after departing any of these countries.”

Antigua's Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph

Antigua’s Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph

The minister indicated that Cabinet further recommends that citizens and residents of Antigua & Barbuda should defer their travel to these countries until further notice.

And, Cabinet, he said, further advises that the authorities reserve the right to quarantine any resident or citizen returning to Antigua & Barbuda having visited these countries after the issuance of this ban.

Joseph noted the country does not receive any direct flights from the affected West African countries, and therefore, the risk of an infected person getting into Antigua & Barbuda is further minimised.

The twin island state is the fourth country in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to impose the restriction.

The other OECS countries with a ban in place are St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and St Kitts/Nevis. Joseph noted the OECS ministers discussed the issue and arrived at similar decisions.

The health ministers of the Caribbean region met in St Vincent this week to discuss their approach to Ebola, as well as measures to tackle the mosquito borne chikungunya virus.

Joseph, who said he was unable to attend the meeting due to the passage of Tropical Storm Gonzalo over Antigua on Monday, said he’s aware of what took place at the meeting in St Vincent.

The minister further disclosed that the government has established a public health emergency fund and a decision was “just” made that Medical Benefits would make the first contribution of $500,000.

He said the money would be used to purchase personal protective equipment, such as gowns, head covering and goggles among other things.

Source: (Antigua Observer)

16 Responses to ANTIGUA-Antigua bans travellers from West Africa

  1. Gabriel Abed
    Gabriel Abed October 18, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Meanwhile down here… WELCOME TO BARBADOS!

  2. David F. Cabral
    David F. Cabral October 18, 2014 at 7:36 am

    I find it odd that only the OECS/Caricom countries has place a ban on travelers from West Africa….why is the rest of the not following our lead…could it be……..

  3. Ouida Burnham
    Ouida Burnham October 18, 2014 at 7:38 am

    I would like to know if anybody out there can help me with a wheelchair please I need one Iike last year this one I have is so bad I know things are hard with us at this time but I really need some help my no is 4221994

  4. Doria Alleyne
    Doria Alleyne October 18, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Very smart ANTIGUA,

  5. Angel Blossoms
    Angel Blossoms October 18, 2014 at 8:16 am

    United States haven’t ban any flights or close they borders either.

    • Gabriel Abed
      Gabriel Abed October 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

      What does that have to do with me as a Barbadian citizen living in Barbados? I don’t care what America does when it comes to the lives of my loved ones.

    • Angel Blossoms
      Angel Blossoms October 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Gabriel it was just a statement chill don’t matter how safe we are things happen .

    • Gabriel Abed
      Gabriel Abed October 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Angel, mine was a statement too. I am very chill 🙂

    • Angel Blossoms
      Angel Blossoms October 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      What I meant to say that since USA HAVEN’T CLOSE THEY BORDER or ban flights from Africa ,and we have cruise ships and flights coming from America it’s a possibility that Ebola will eventually be brought here.

  6. Nikki Brown
    Nikki Brown October 18, 2014 at 8:37 am

    The USA is 100% more prepared and has the experimental vaccine. Apples and oranges.

    • Kourtney James
      Kourtney James October 18, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      There is no more Zmapp(experimental drug) left though sweet girl.

  7. Seven-thirty Austin
    Seven-thirty Austin October 18, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Barbados should do the same .

  8. Krystal Alexis
    Krystal Alexis October 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    When America does it so will Barbados! They love to copy the americans too much

  9. Amina Saadia Taitt
    Amina Saadia Taitt October 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Seems like a slightly hysterical reaction to me. If we’re going to ban people, let’s go all the way. Let’s ban people from Spain and the USA, particularly Texans. And oh, wait, anyone who has recently been on a Carnival cruise.
    Precautions are absolutely necessary. This craziness, no.

  10. Steve L Murray
    Steve L Murray October 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm



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