Australia’s Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced that his government would not be issuing any more visas to West Africa’s Ebola-affected countries and was halting humanitarian aid operations in the region.
The decision, which was announced in a televised session of parliament on Monday, went into immediate effect and comes after 11 persons previously isolated out of Ebola concerns were released after testing negative to the Ebola virus.
Holders of permanent visas in Ebola-hotspots issued by the Australian government would not be barred from entry into Australia, but will have to undergo three weeks of isolation at points of departure deemed Ebola risk zones, in addition to isolation regimes upon re-entry into Australia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and medical experts have repeatedly warned of restrictive measures against returning health workers fearing the potential in discouraging more international volunteers at Ebola hotspots.
To date the Ebola crisis has resulted in over 10, 000 recorded cases of transmissions and over 5000 related deaths.