AFRICAN LEADERS attending this week’s US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C. will be screened for Ebola, President Barack Obama has announced.
At least 730 people have died from the outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Nigeria also, recently, recorded one case. Some 1,300 people have been affected by the viral outbreak since March.
The haemorrhagic fever kills 90 percent of patients within days. It is transmitted through direct contact with infected persons, as well as the consumption of apes and bats.
About 50 of the continent’s leaders, including President John Mahama of Ghana, are flying to the US for the threeday Summit as the outbreak, described by the World Health Organisation as the worst ever, rips through Africa.
Obama told journalists at the White House, ahead of the Summit that, ‘Keep in mind that it is still affecting parts of three countries and we got some 50 countries represented at this summit.’
‘We are doing two things: with respect to the summit itself, we are taking appropriate precautions. Folks who are coming from these countries that have even the marginal risk or infinitesimal risk of having been exposed in some fashion, we are making sure we’re doing screening on that end as they leave the country; we do additional screening when we are here. We feel confident that the procedures that we put in place are appropriate,’ he said.
The summit is intended to ‘build on the progress made since the President’s trip to Africa last summer, advance the administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people,’ according to the White House. It is the largest event any U.S. president has held to welcome African leaders.
The Ebola outbreak is keeping leaders from Liberia and Sierra Leone from attending.
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