EBOLA BAN
Many nations have put in place stringent entry screening for travellers from Ebola-hit nations. However, Australia and North Korea have gone a step ahead and placed a ban on such travellers.REUTERS

Australia has become the first developed nation to ban visitors from Ebola affected West African nations.

On Monday, it issued a blanket ban on visas for people from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa, calling it a necessary safety precaution.

Australia has not recorded a case of Ebola despite some scares and has resisted requests to send medical staff to West Africa, reports Reuters.

The decision to refuse entry to people from West African nations has been criticised as politically motivated and shortsighted.

Adam Kamradt-Scott from the University of Sydney's Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity said the ban would merely end up creating a general climate of panic.

North Korea had recently banned entry for travellers from the Ebola-hit nations. Many African nations too have closed its borders to people coming from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The World Health Organization has recommended against any general ban on travel or trade with the West African countries that have been affected by the epidemic.

Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are already economically isolated and flight restrictions are making it more difficult for life-saving aid and medical professionals to reach West Africa.

Despite increased pressures the White House has resisted placing such bans and has instead restricted the entry of travellers from the Ebola-hit nations to five of its airports which have increased surveillance in place.

The disease has claimed almost 5000 lives in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.