Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Lawyers group wants Jamaica to restrict travelers from Ebola-affected countries

Published:Thursday | October 16, 2014 | 2:24 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The president of the Jamaican Bar Association, Donovan Walker, says the Government should seriously consider imposing a travel restriction on persons travelling from West African countries affected by Ebola.

Health experts say persons infected with the deadly virus can take up to 21 days before showing symptoms.

And, according to Walker, the Government should not allow anyone in Jamaica who has been in any of the affected West-African countries until at least 28 days have elapsed since they left the African territories.

In the meantime, Walker says the Government should be commended for urging Cabinet ministers and other groups of persons not to make trips to the worst-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

But he says Jamaica and the Caribbean should now take steps to ensure that people leaving the affected countries are not allowed in Jamaica.

Walker acknowledges that Jamaica could face legal issues in relation to rights such as the freedom of movement enshrined in the Constitution.

However, he says in times of national emergencies, the Government must act to protect national health and security.

On Monday, the National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, urged countries of the region to get their militaries prepared to deal with any emergencies which may arise from an Ebola outbreak.


Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has also announced that $500 million has been allocated to respond to the Chikungunya and Ebola matters.

Ebola, which has been confirmed in the US and Europe, is responsible for more than 4,000 deaths.

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