France extends Ebola passenger screenings to flights from Mali

Dominique Faget, AFP file picture | France has extended its Ebola screening procedures to cover also airline passengers from Mali

France’s Ministry of Health on Saturday said it has extended its Ebola airport screening procedures to also cover passengers arriving from Mali after the African country confirmed its second outbreak of the deadly virus.


"As part of the fight against Ebola, and because of the evolution of the epidemiological situation, the control and monitoring will be extended to cover passenger flights from Bamako (Mali), from Saturday 15 November 2014," the ministry said in a statement.

The screenings will be carried out by medical staff at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly international airports.

“Each passenger will have his or her temperature taken and will be given an information sheet on what to do in the case of a fever running higher than 38 degrees Celsius within 21 days,” it said.

Passengers will also be asked to fill out a form which will be kept by French health authorities for 21 days, which is the maximum incubation period of the virus.

The decision to screen passengers on inbound Mali flights comes after Mali on Friday reported three Ebola-related deaths out of four cases that had tested positive for the disease.

These cases are independent of the country’s first Ebola case; a two-year-old girl who traveled by road from the south of Guinea and into Mali, where she died on October 24.

On October 18, France began screening Air France passengers flying directly from Ebola-hit Guinea to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. On October 24, France also began screening some ships that had traveled from West Africa’s Ebola hot spots.

The Ebola virus has so far killed more than 5,000 people, mainly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

In a sign of growing concern over the new wave of cases, the French government on Friday updated its website to advise against all but essential travel to Bamako and Kayes, the western region where the girl died.


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