Ebola: Sri Lanka turns back Nigerian travellers
Nigerian travellers have been turned back from flying in to Sri Lankan.
One traveller, Akinkunmi Adeseye, who spoke with SUNDAY PUNCH exclusively on Saturday, said his family members arrived in the Asian country for a wedding, but were refused exit from the airport.
He said, “They left Nigeria on an Emirates flight and got to Sri Lanka at about 10 am. But the Sri Lankan government didn’t allow them entry.
“At the airport, they were barred from going anywhere. They weren’t given food and they were treated like zombies.”
He said his family members left Nigeria at 2.30 pm on Friday and arrived Sri Lanka at about 10 am on Saturday,
“The next flight to Nigeria is at 3am on Sunday. That’s the flight they are coming back on. I’m talking of children between the ages of seven months and two years. They gave them no food, nothing. I have four family members on that flight,” he said.
He added that he and his mother would have been on the same flight.
“My mum and I would have joined them on the same flight, but her passport was supposed to expire in six weeks, so she was told to get a new one before leaving,” he said.
According to him, his sister and brother-in-law, who live in the UK, were also turned back.
Adeseye said, “She flew in from the UK. They didn’t allow her or anybody with a green passport in. It wasn’t just people coming from Nigeria; it was Nigerians coming from anywhere, the President had already given an order that Nigeria should be blacklisted.
“She’s leaving at 8.30 pm (Saturday) back to the UK on the same Emirates flight. They are expected back in the country by 12.30pm tomorrow (Sunday).”
Airlines have cancelled more than a third of international flights to three west African countries over fears that an outbreak of the Ebola virus could spread, as more African countries introduce measures to block visitors from affected areas.
Of 590 monthly flights scheduled to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, 216 have been cancelled, according to OAG, an airline data provider. Although 14 cases of Ebola have been reported in Nigeria, flights to and from the country have not been affected.
African countries are rolling out measures to stop Ebola from spreading: South Africa on Thursday banned travellers from Ebola-stricken countries from entering the country, and on Friday Senegal announced it was closing its border with Guinea as a preventative measure, while Chad said it had closed its border with Nigeria.
Nigeria confirmed two new ebola cases on Friday – both spouses of medical workers who had direct contact with Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, who flew into Nigeria last month with the virus and infected 11 others before he died in July. The male and female caregivers both subsequently died of Ebola, after infecting their spouses.