Airports take precautions against Ebola

Transport, health and foreign affairs authorities have introduced preventive measures at airports in Thailand to screen out the Ebola virus disease (EVD) that is spreading in west Africa.

Suvarnabhumi airport director Raweewan Netarakavesana said on Friday that  passengers and airplanes from disease risk countries, especially those from Africa, were already being thoroughly checked.

People from those countries must present documents showing their yellow fever vaccination and they would be under close watch during their stay, she said.

Mrs Raweewan said Suvarnabhumi airport did not receive direct flights from the Ebola-infected countries -Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - but there were direct flights from other African nations.

Airlines that operated direct flights from Africa were Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways and Thai Airways International, she said.

Immigration Bureau and disease control officials at Suvarnabhumi airport were checking travel and health records of all air passengers holding passports issued by the countries where the Ebola virus is spreading before letting them enter Thailand. Thermal scanners have not yet been used at the airport.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Thais not to travel to the countries where Ebola was spreading. It asked those who must visit there to  inform the Thai embassy in Dakar, Senegal, of their flight, accommodation and phone number for contact in case of emergency.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) stated on Friday that new cases and deaths attributable to the Ebola virus were reported by the ministries of health in four west African countries - Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

From July 24 to 27, there 122 new cases (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) of EVD and 57 deaths were reported in the four countries: Guinea, 33 new cases and 20 deaths; Liberia, 80 new cases and 27 deaths; Sierra Leone, 8 new cases and 9 deaths; with neighbouring Nigeria reporting 1 case and 1 death; .

As of July 27, 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to the Ebola virus in the four countries stood at 1,323 with 729 deaths.

WHO did not issue any statement advising the limiting of travel to and trade with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. 

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