Guinea on Saturday said it was closing its land borders with Liberia and Sierra Leone in a bid to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola virus which has claimed hundreds of lives in the three west African countries.
“In order to better control contact” with people suspected of carrying the Ebola virus, “Guinea has decided to temporarily close its land borders with Liberia and Sierra Leone,” government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said.
The World Health Organisation on Friday declared the Ebola outbreak ravaging parts of west Africa an international health emergency and appealed for global aid to help afflicted countries.
The decision after a two-day emergency session behind closed doors in Geneva means global travel restrictions may be put in place to halt its spread as the overall death toll nears 1,000.
The WHO move comes as US health authorities admitted on Thursday that Ebola’s spread beyond west Africa was “inevitable”, and after medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned that the deadly virus was now “out of control” with more than 60 outbreak hotspots.
WHO director Dr Margaret Chan appealed for greater international aid for the countries worst hit by the outbreak.