OTTAWA- Canada on Monday ramped up travel restrictions for people returning from Ebola-stricken countries, officials said, and said “high risk” travelers should be closely monitored for symptoms or admitted to a special facility.
People returning from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone who have come into contact with the virus are told to report to local health officials and self-monitor for up to 21 days, Canada’s Public Health Agency said.
These “high risk” travelers could be asked to quarantine at a “facility” for the 21-day incubation period, but the agency did not specify what this could entail.
People presenting symptoms of Ebola, which includes high fever and diarrhea, “will be immediately isolated and sent to hospital for a medical examination,” it said.
Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids, including sweat, saliva and blood.
Canada has not had any reported cases of the deadly virus, and said the measures were precautionary.
“We are taking precautionary action to further protect Canadians from the threat of Ebola,” Canada’s Health Minister Rona Ambrose said.
“These new measures strike the proper balance between the health and safety of an individual returning from an Ebola affected region and the health and safety of all Canadians.”
Last month, Canada said it was suspending visa applications for residents of Ebola-hit nations in a bid to prevent the deadly virus from crossing its borders.
According to the World Health Organization, 13,268 people have been infected with Ebola across eight countries and 4,960 of them have died.
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea remain the hardest-hit countries, in what is the worst-ever Ebola outbreak.