Friday 26 December 2014

French urged to leave Ebola areas as death toll rises to 1,400

Published 27/08/2014 | 19:25

Senior Matron Breda Athan demonstrates the use of a high level isolation apparatus in the High Secure Infectious Disease Unit at The Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London
Senior Matron Breda Athan demonstrates the use of a high level isolation apparatus in the High Secure Infectious Disease Unit at The Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London

France has recommended its citizens leave the African countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia because of the outbreak of Ebola, and Air France has temporarily suspended its three flights a week to Sierra Leone.

The disease has now killed more than 1,400 people in West Africa.

Air France announced that it temporarily halted its flights to Freetown, Sierra Leone, because of the Ebola outbreak and at the request of the French government.

The French national carrier said it is maintaining its flights to Conakry, Guinea, and to Lagos, Nigeria - cities it flies to once a day.

Referring to Ebola, the airline said: "Measures in place at airports there guarantee... that no passengers presenting symptoms ... can board."

The French government said the increasing spread of Ebola - notably in Liberia and Sierra Leone - prompted its request for suspension of Air France flights to Sierra Leone and its recommendation that French citizens leave Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Many regional and major airlines have suspended services to the three countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The United Nations has said the lack of flights is making it increasingly difficult to bring supplies to those countries. UN flights to bring humanitarian workers to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, also have faced restrictions.

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