Regional humanitarian hub Senegal said on Friday it had blocked a regional U.N. aid plane from landing and was banning all further flights to and from countries affected by Ebola, potentially hampering the emergency response to the epidemic.
A number of aid agencies have their regional headquarters in politically stable Senegal. Both medical charity MSF and the United Nations, which are leading efforts to contain a West African Ebola epidemic that has killed at least 1350 people, had planned to operate regional flights from the country.
“We have strengthened our protection strategy by suspending services that link us to countries affected by Ebola since yesterday,” said Senegal’s tourism and air transport minister, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr.
Senegal’s southern land border with Guinea had also been shut, he said.
Dakar’s interior ministry said that the closure referred only to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and not to Nigeria, where substantially fewer cases of Ebola have been reported. Senegal has reported no confirmed cases of Ebola.
Asked by Reuters whether there would be exceptions for humanitarian flights, Health and Social Action Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck said: “When we adopt new measures we implement them and afterwards we will see if there are exceptions.”
Sourced : arabiantravelnews