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Senegal extends travel curbs over Ebola fears

Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS

Dakar, Aug 22 : Senegal has decided to tighten restrictions on travelling from Ebola-hit West African countries as the newly appointed UN coordinator on the epidemic began his visit to countries affected by the deadly disease.

In a statement released late Thursday night, Senegal's interior ministry said the country has once again closed the land border with neighbouring Guinea, where hundreds of deaths from Ebola virus disease have been recorded, Xinhua reported.

Senegal sealed its border with Guinea in March following a major Ebola outbreak before it re-opened it in May.

The interior ministry said the closure also extends to "air and sea borders for aircraft and ships from the Republic of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia".

Meanwhile, David Nabarro, the newly-appointed UN chief coordinator to battle the Ebola virus, Thursday arrived in Liberian capital Monrovia, on the first leg of his visit to the region to evaluate regional and UN responses to the Ebola virus outbreak.

Nabarro, a British public health expert, was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week to serve as the senior UN system coordinator on the Ebola virus.

He will also travel to three other countries affected by the Ebola outbreak -- Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria -- before returning to Geneva and New York to report to the UN on his findings.

The death toll due to the Ebola virus continues to rise in West Africa and currently stands at 1,350, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

Of that number, 576 have died in Liberia where the outbreak is most severe and efforts to contain the virus are deemed most critical, WHO said in a statement Wednesday.

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