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Jamaica announces travel ban on Ebola

The govt also said Jamaican citizens and residents would be quarantined in the interest of public health.

FILE: Anti-Ebola equipment. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Jamaica announced an immediate travel ban on foreigners who have traveled through the Ebola-affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

More than 4,500 people have died of the disease in the West African countries since the Ebola outbreak in March.

Other countries, including Colombia, Guyana and the Caribbean island of St Lucia have also begun denying entry to travelers who recently visited the Ebola-affected nations.

In the United States, the president Barack Obama administration is also under pressure from congressional lawmakers to ban travel from epidemic-stricken West Africa.

Pennsylvania congressman Tim Murphy has slammed the enhanced Ebola screenings going on, only at a handful of US airports, saying the measures are leaky and troubling.

Jamaica's travel ban extends to "persons ordinarily resident in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as well as persons who have travelled to or transited through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, within 28 days of having departed from these countries," the government said, describing it as a temporary measure to protect human and animal health.

The government also said Jamaican citizens and residents would quarantined, in the interest of public health and national security, for 28 days after any travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

This also applied to members of international organisations with a right of entry to the country.

UN EBOLA TRUST FUND GETS $100,000

A United Nations trust fund seeking nearly $1 billion for rapid, flexible funding of the most urgent needs to fight Ebola in West Africa has received a deposit of just $100,000 nearly a month after it was set up.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on 16 September that $988 million is needed to tackle the deadly hemorrhagic fever over the next six months. Since then $365 million has been committed to stop Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, which have been hit hardest by the epidemic.

Nearly all that money was donated directly to UN agencies and nonprofits working in West Africa with just $100,000 paid by Colombia into the trust fund set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to UN records.

Some diplomats and officials said many donors had made commitments to UN agencies before the trust fund was established. Others said donors were already overstretched and suggested they might be wary of how money put into the trust fund would be spent.

"This is a very serious problem," Ban said of the lack of money in the trust fund. He said that while he appreciated the support given to the UN Ebola response so far, it was time more countries with the capacity to help increased assistance.

"It's time that those other countries who really have capacity, (that) they would provide financial support and other logistical support," he told reporters on Thursday.