Ebola outbreak: 200 Sri Lankans to be repatriated from Liberia
Sunday, 10 August 2014 - 11:35
The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) says that around 200 Sri Lankan nationals currently employed in Liberia will be brought back due to the Ebola epidemic spreading rapidly in the African region.
The World Health Organization has declared the West African Ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 1,000 people an international public-health emergency.
The decision to bring them back was taken in view of the seriousness of the outbreak and the threat it poses to the lives of Sri Lankans currently residing in Liberia, the Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera said.
He also stated that the Ministry has decided to suspend sending any Sri Lankans to the West Africa nation. Perera urged the relatives of Sri Lankans still in Liberia to inform them of the decision and take immediate measures to bring them back.
The haemorrhagic fever has so far claimed 255 lives and prompted 468 reported cases in Liberia.
Media reports state that Ebola has killed more than 900 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and two cases have also been confirmed in Nigeria.
On Wednesday, Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf announced a state of emergency for 90 days. The declaration follows measures that have seen the government put all non-essential officials on 30 days’ compulsory leave, close schools, and create a cleaning and disinfecting holiday last Friday.