, DAKAR, Senegal, Nov 15 – Senegal has reopened air and sea borders with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries worst hit by the Ebola virus.
The frontiers had been closed since August 21, but the restriction was lifted with immediate effect, Senegalese Interior Minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo said Friday.
“Senegal has decided to partially open its borders with the Republic of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as of this Friday… this measure applies only to air and maritime borders excluding the land border,” Diallo said in a statement.
Guinea shares a land border with Senegal, which will remain closed.
The announcement came after Liberia lifted its state of emergency Thursday, announcing huge gains in the fight against Ebola.
Smaller, more mobile treatment units are being deployed in remote areas of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to act quickly to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
No mention was made of neighbouring Mali in the statement, which has recorded deaths from the Ebola virus. The land border between the two countries remains open.
The World Health Organization announced on Friday that 5,177 people have now died of Ebola across eight countries, out of a total 14,413 cases of infection, since late December 2013.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have suffered the most during the deadliest ever outbreak of the disease.
In its latest toll, WHO said that through November 10, 2,812 people had died in Liberia, out of 6,878 cases.
In Sierra Leone, 1,187 people had died as of November 11 out of 5,586 cases, WHO said.
Guinea, where the outbreak began late last year, counted 1,166 deaths and 1,919 cases, also as of November 11.
Senegal was declared Ebola free by the WHO in October after a single, non-fatal case was earlier detected in the country.