Cape Town - South Africa's department of health has issued a travel ban for all non-South African citizens from ebola-hit Liberia, Guinea and Siera Leone in order to curb the risk of the deadly disease.
This follows reports that fears of the Ebola virus have led to the cancellation of bookings in Africa.
Cape Town Tourism Marketing Executive Velma Corcoran said in a statement, “Cape Town Tourism would like to remind would-be visitors that there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in South Africa during the recent outbreak. In addition, no cases of Ebola have been reported in our neighbouring countries either.
Acsa confirmed all ports of entry, including all international airports are being closely monitored, with the use of thermal detection equipment used to scan for people who have fevers.
This map from the Centre for Disease Control shows the extent of the current Ebola outbreak.
The Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation has advised that Ebola cannot be contracted through the air, water or food (with the exception of uncooked, contaminated bush meat). It is transmittable only through bodily fluids (blood, urine, faeces, semen, saliva, sweat etc..), medical equipment such as needles or drips that have been in contact with a patient or through contact with infected animals (monkeys and fruit bats have presented with the disease).
The disease has a 2-21 day incubation, if someone is in contact with the disease and no symptoms present within 21 days, the person is declared Ebola-free.
Critical to containing the disease is the early diagnosis, isolation and treatment of possible sufferers, sadly this has been a key challenge for the ill-equipped healthcare systems of the affected countries.
Historically, South Africa has had one death by Ebola. In 1996, a nurse contracted Ebola after exposure to a doctor from Libreville who was brought in for emergency treatment, the doctor recovered but the nurse succumbed to her illness.
The South African National Department of Health have stated that they remain on high alert for any potential threat or infection.
1. All relevant stakeholders across all our nine provinces have been adequately briefed and outbreak response teams in all provinces have been trained and are on high alert for any possible cases.
2. Body temperature sensors have been installed at OR Tambo International’s immigration queuing points to detect the body temperature of passengers. The airport also has a quarantine facility in an event that passengers are required to be held in isolation prior to be transferred for further treatment.
3. To safeguard against the deadly virus, a decision has been made by the South African National Department of Health that should a foreign national test positive, they will be denied entry into South Africa.
Essential contact info:
World Health Organisation Media Centre
Telephone: +41 22 791 2222
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
Telephone: +44 04 639 3286
Visitors can also contact Cape Town Tourism’s Strategic Communications Manager, Nicole Biondi, on Tel: +27 21 487 685 or email@example.com.