Sierra Leoneans Call for Tougher Border Alerts
Following the announcement of travel precautions imposed for individuals entering the United States of America from Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leoneans in and out of the country have called on their government to ensure tougher measures to prevent Ebola from entering the country.
The two countries, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo are fighting recent outbreaks of the Ebola Virus the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention announced past Friday.
Guinea and Sierra Leone as close neighbors and most of its citizens’ frequently interface through social and economic trades.
This week, the US government will start directing travelers from Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo to six US airports, according to the CDC.
Airlines will collect information from all passengers boarding flights to the US who were in either country within the previous 21 days, and share the data with the CDC and local health departments for monitoring purposes.
The measures come as the US and other nations grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, with increasing concern that variants could send rates spiking once again. It also follows two previous outbreaks of Ebola in Africa that began in 2014 and 2018, resulting in the deaths of thousands.
During the 2014 outbreak, similar travel precautions were applied. Passengers arriving at designated airports to the US from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — the hardest-hit nations during the outbreak — had their temperature taken and were asked questions about whether they had been exposed to anyone with Ebola.
The CDC noted that this year’s outbreaks are in remote areas and the risk to the US is extremely low. The agency said the travel restrictions are being implemented out of an abundance of caution.
As of Thursday past, the World Health Organization said there were nine Ebola cases and five deaths reported in Guinea, and eight cases and four deaths reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo.