Ebola crisis: EU pushes for improved screening in affected countries

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Ebola crisis: EU pushes for improved screening in affected countries

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EU health ministers want to see a strengthening of Ebola checks on people leaving West Africa.

But, during a meeting in Brussels, they have disagreed on the need to check travellers arriving in their own countries.

France has said that it will begin screening air passengers arriving from affected areas – following similar decisions by Britain and the Czech Republic. But, so far, other EU governments have not followed suit.

“We all agreed to reinforce exit checks and to exchange information – using a database and other possible methods inside the Schengen area, to give more information on the mobility of citizens,” said Beatrice Lorenzin, Italian Health Minister.

There are also plans to use American aircraft if EU health workers are taken ill in West African countries hit by Ebola.

“The Commission is expected in the coming weeks to sign a framework contract with the US State Department so that it will be able to use the planes used by the US department for medical evacuation of EU health workers,” said Tonio Borg, EU Commissioner for Health.

Speaking from Brussels, euronews correspondent Margherita Sforza said: “How to reinforce the European response to the Ebola crisis, will be discussed further – both at a foreign affairs ministers meeting and at an EU summit, attended by heads of state and governments.”