Sacci: Govt must reassess Ebola travel ban

Sacci is worried a ban on the entry of non-South Africans from Ebola-hit countries could hurt business.

A doctor of the national public health institute controls the temperature of people at the airport, in Abidjan on 13 August 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) says government must reassess travel restrictions to and from Ebola-hit West African countries.

Sacci is worried the ban could hurt business.

Government has placed an immediate ban on the entry of non-South Africans from affected countries.

South Africans wanting to travel to these high-risk nations have been asked to delay their journeys unless absolutely necessary.

Sacci's chief executive Neren Rau says, "What we trust, as a chamber, is that investors and trade partners have the sophistication and presence of mind to contextualise the risks and deal with it accordingly, rather than reacting in a dramatic and undisciplined manner."

Meanwhile, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has led to 1,427 deaths out of 2,615 known cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

In its latest update, the WHO reported 142 new laboratory-confirmed, probable or suspected cases of Ebola and 77 more deaths from four affected countries - Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

Earlier, the WHO said the scale of the world's worst Ebola outbreak had been concealed by families hiding infected loved ones in their homes and the existence of "shadow zones" that medics cannot enter. It is due to issue a global strategy plan towards the end of next week in Geneva.

Additional reporting by Reuters.