Airlines agency considering passenger screening for Ebola

July 31, 2014

The International Civil Aviation Organization said Thursday it is considering passenger screenings for Ebola, now that the deadly virus for the first time has crossed international borders aboard an aircraft.

The world aviation authority said it held emergency talks with officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to discuss the proposed changes, amid the worst ever outbreak of the highly contagious disease.

"The WHO, ICAO considered passenger screening revisions to the WHO document on travel and transport in light of recent events," said an ICAO statement.

"These are still being reviewed by the WHO, which was also intending to seek inputs from the World Tourism Organization and Airports Council International (ACI)," it said.

The WHO, for now, has ruled out imposing travel restrictions on Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, the African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak.

This week, Togo-based airline ASKY announced the suspension of flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone, both hit by an outbreak of Ebola virus.

This followed the death of one of its passengers from the virus last week, after the 40-year-old man had traveled from Liberia to Nigeria via the Togolese capital Lome.

ASKY, which works in partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, serves 20 destinations in central and west Africa.

Since March, there have been more than 1,300 cases of Ebola and 729 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to WHO.

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