SOUTHERN Africa Tourism Update has disclosed that there is no reported Ebola case in the region since the outbreak of the virus that has ravaged West Africa and killed over 1 500 people in the past few weeks.
The tourism publication made the announcement on their respected website, http://www.tourismupdate.co.za/Ebola.aspx, which is updated daily.
The website says the Ebola outbreak has been confirmed in only three West African countries, namely Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. There have also been cases in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The website says there has been no reported case in Zimbabwe and the government is “closely monitoring” all travellers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
“Port health officers are reportedly interviewing people coming from Ebola zones and examining them for possible symptoms. They are then referred to the hospital for tests,” said.
It added: “The government has advised against travel to affected countries.”
The website also says Botswana, Namibia and South Africa have placed travel bans on people from the affected countries and at the same time banned their citizens from travelling to those nations.
Returning residents from these three countries will be screened and only people on essential business will be allowed to enter.
Zambia is the exception as it has only put a travel restriction but not a ban on all people from the affected countries.
The other Sadc countries — Angola, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Madagascar and Malawi — while being cautious about the outbreak have not placed any travel bans on people from the affected countries.
Mozambique has put in place a questionnaire that is filled by travellers from affected countries.
“Mozambique has drawn up a questionnaire that will be asked of all passengers who have come from, or passed through, the West African countries where Ebola has been reported (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria)” the site says.
Meanwhile, some tourism players in Zimbabwe have said the hoax report of Ebola cases in Bulawayo on a social media platform has ignited a flurry of booking cancellations particularly to the resort town of Victoria Falls.
Glenn Stutchbury chief executive Cresta Hotels said: “My concern is the damage to industry, one operator in Victoria Falls has $156 000 of cancellations.
“This is a Zimbabwe issue and we are as a country responsible to do whatever we can to work as one on making sure that Zimbabwe is Ebola-free.”