The Ivory Coast Government has announced that it has sealed all land borders it shares with the West African countries, affected by the deadly Ebola virus, in an attempt to stop it from spreading to their country.
"Faced with new outbreak sites and the reactivation of old sites...the Ivorian government decides to close its land borders with sister republics Guinea and Liberia," said a statement by the Ivory Coast government, read out on the state-owned television.
Video courtesey: Reuters
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that travelling is not the main source of spreading the Ebola virus. However, in spite of this declaration by WHO, the government of Ivory Coast has decided to seal all the land borders it shares with the Ebola-hit West African countries. Ivory Coast shares its borders with two of the four Ebola-hit nations of Africa – Guinea and Liberia.
Earlier, the Ivorian government had imposed a ban on all flights coming in from Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Ivory Coast does not share its borders with these two countries. Thus, the government of Ivory Coast has effectively sealed off most of the routes leading to their country, from the four West African nations, affected by the deadly virus.
This decision has come after the number of Ebola cases in Nimba County, Liberia, which is very close to the Ivorian border, rose exponentially in the last few weeks. Sources say that around 65 cases have been reported in the area, with 25 of them being confirmed.
"The number of cases in Nimba has spiked recently and it is now an area of concern," said Moses Massaquoi, Head of Ebola Case Management at the Health Ministry of Liberia, to Reuters.
Recently, 13 people have been reportedly killed by the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although it is believed that the strain of the virus found in Congo is different from the one in the four West African countries, the government is waiting for the test results to come back before giving an official confirmation.
The Ebola virus has killed 1,427 people in West Africa, while another 2,615 people have contracted the virus, according to reports.