PANAMA CITY – Panama has banned entry of travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three West African nations worst hit by the Ebola virus, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
The ban applies to anyone traveling from the three countries or people entering Panama who had been there during the last 21 days, the ministry said in a statement.
Panama is a major hub for travel and commerce in Latin America and has so far not registered any cases of Ebola. The travel ban would be maintained until the three countries were declared free of the virus, the government said.
The Dominican Republic on Tuesday banned entry to foreigners who visited Ebola-affected countries in the last 30 days. The Caribbean country joined several others to issue travel bans, including Colombia, Jamaica and St. Lucia.
At least 4,877 people have died in the world’s worst recorded outbreak of Ebola, and at least 9,936 cases of the disease had been recorded as of Oct. 19, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
Liberia has been the country worst hit, with 4,665 recorded cases and 2,705 deaths, followed by Sierra Leone and Guinea, where the outbreak originated.