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Senegal suspends air links with three Ebola-affected countries

Senegal suspends air links with three Ebola-affected countries
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Senegal blocked a regional UN aid flight from landing on Friday and has banned all further connections with several countries affected by the Ebola virus.

Dakar’s interior ministry said the closure only referred to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The decision is set to hamper the humanitarian response to the epidemic as Senegal is a regional hub for aid workers.

The Senegalese Minister of Tourism and Air Transportation, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, said the country had “strengthened their protection strategy by suspending services to countries affected by Ebola.”

Meanwhile, Air France has announced additional measures to protect its crew and passengers from the virus.

The airline is the only one of a handful of carriers that are still running flight connections to the countries affected by Ebola.

Flight cabin chief and Air France union representative, Patrick Henry-Haye, said “crews are at risk when they stay a night in those countries because they don’t have any protection there. Air France gives one mask per flight attendant and those masks, when you start using them can only be used for five hours so when you stay for 24-48 hours if something happens they have nothing to protect themselves.”

Some Air France personal have recently refused to work on flights to the affected African nations.

Over 1,400 people have died from the Ebola virus since the outbreak was identified earlier this year, according to the latest figures released by the World Health Organisation.