Zim places close to 100 people under Ebola surveillance

Most of those being watched had paid recent visits to Nigeria, a popular destination for Zimbabweans.

FILE: An MSF medical worker feeds an Ebola child victim at an MSF facility in Kailahun, on 15 August, 2014. Picture: AFP.

HARARE - Authorities in Zimbabwe have put close to 100 people under surveillance for Ebola after they visited countries affected by the West African outbreak.

Most of those being watched had paid recent visits to Nigeria, a popular destination for Zimbabweans who often travel to see controversial preacher TB Joshua.

Zimbabwe hasn't recorded a single case of Ebola yet but authorities are keen to show they're not taking any chances.

_Newsday _is reporting that 46 of the 98 people who were put under surveillance on arrival in Zimbabwe have now been cleared, having gone three weeks without showing any symptoms of the virus.

All arrivals at Harare International Airport are questioned and their passports examined to see where they've been.

Travellers deemed at risk are made to stay in regular cellphone contact with Zimbabwe health officials for three weeks.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe President, Tamuka Macheka, told the local source news agency that the outbreak in West Africa is likely to further cut tourist arrivals.

Meanwhile, an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has been largely contained in Senegal and Nigeria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday, but the disease is still spreading elsewhere and has now killed over 2,811 people in the region.

Senegal and Nigeria, the most recent of five nations to record cases of Ebola, implemented strict measures to isolate the ill and track down further possible cases, steps that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have failed to impose, allowing the disease to take hold in cities and rural communities.

Sierra Leone said it had registered 130 new cases of Ebola during a three-day national lockdown that ended late on Sunday, the most radical move yet to try to contain a disease that has killed around half of those it infects and is crippling some of the weakest countries in West Africa.

The current outbreak was first identified in the forests of southeastern Guinea in March and then spread into neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, where it overwhelmed weak national health systems.

In Nigeria, 20 cases were recorded and eight people have died. There have been no deaths from one confirmed case in Senegal.