• WHO sets up Ebola task force with tourism industry

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    GENEVA: The World Health Orga–nization (WHO) said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) that it had set up a task force with the global airline and tourism industry in an effort to contain the spread of Ebola.

    The United Nations agency said it was working hand in hand with the International Civil Aviation Organization, the World Tourism Organi–zation, Airports Council Inter–national (ACI), the Inter–national Air Transport Asso–ciation, and the World Travel and Tourism Council.

    The goal, it said in a statement, was to “support the global efforts to contain the spread of the disease and provide a coordinated inter–national response for the travel and tourism sector.”

    It added that the task force would “monitor the situation and provide timely information to the travel and tourism sector as well as to travelers.”

    The first closed-door session of the task force took place on August 13, the WHO told Agence France-Presse.

    On August 8, the WHO declared a global public health emergency over the outbreak of Ebola, a deadly and highly contagious virus, which has spread since the beginning of the year from Guinea to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

    Concerns over air travel were heightened because the outbreak in Nigeria was traced back to an ill traveler who flew from Liberia and infected contacts in Lagos.

    In Monday’s statement, the WHO reiterated that it does not recommend any ban on inter–national travel or trade from the Ebola outbreak, which has infected more than 2,100 people so far and killed 1,145.

    The hemorrhagic disease is spread by direct contact with blood and other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals.

    AFP

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