KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — St Vincent and the Grenadines has placed a ban on nationals from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Guinea entering the island, as Caribbean countries continue to put in place measures to deal with a possible outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the region.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the measure was taken given the lack of infrastructure on the island to deal with the Ebola virus for which there is no known cure.
Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are the three West African countries most affected by the Ebola virus.
“Because we didn’t consider that we had the infrastructure, necessarily, to deal with an onrush of people if they were to come from any of those West African countries which we have named specifically,” Gonsalves said.
On Tuesday, the Grenada Government said it was considering suspending travel visas to nationals from the West African countries, noting 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”.