ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Wednesday October 15, 2014, CMC – The Grenada government says it is considering suspending travel visas to nationals from the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, as it moves to prevent any occurrence of the deadly Ebola virus here.
More than 4,500 people have died as a result of the virus for which there is no cure. Most of the deaths are in the three African countries, although people have died in the United States, Spain and Germany.
A government statement issued ahead of a meeting of health ministers from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in St. Vincent on Wednesday, noted that with the mortality rates climbing in the affected countries and the potential of spread becoming more and more eminent, the move to suspend the visa could soon be taken.
“Amidst tougher immigration and border control restrictions currently being employed in some countries and contemplated by others, the Government has decided to adapt this measure in the best interest of safeguarding the Public Health of the country.”
The Keith Mitchell government said that the measure is being discussed against the “background that there is no readily available vaccine to protect ones-self against the disease, no available medicines to treat the condition and the recognition that the introduction of one case of the disease could potentially undermine the health and financial infrastructure of the country.
“At the same time, the Government urges its citizens and other persons living in Grenada to desist from all non-essential travel” the African countries.
The statement said that the government is advising people “ who decide to travel to the affected countries with the intention to return despite this advisory, that they will be subjected to strict screening and other health and safety measures at our ports of entry”.
The government said it would continue with the assistance of the various stakeholders “to put in place the necessary structures to respond as adequately as possible, to the introduction of the disease into our country.
“The Government will continue to regularly monitor and update citizens on the situation with Ebola throughout the world in order to take appropriate actions,” the statement added.