FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

U.N. cautions against flight restrictions on Ebola-stricken countries

The United Nations warned on Monday that flight restrictions on Ebola-affected countries in West Africa are preventing the delivery of health workers and supplies.

The U.N. also said that the restrictions increase the economic and diplomatic isolation of countries in the region.

"The current limitations on flights into and out of these countries, and the restrictions placed on aircraft originating from these countries transiting through airports in neighboring countries, though understandable, are not warranted," Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesperson for the U.N., said.

The World Health Organization said on Monday that an unprecedented high proportion of doctors and other health experts have been infected by the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. More than 240 healthcare workers have contracted the disease and 120 have died in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, according to the latest WHO update.

The WHO also said that, in some areas, there are only one or two doctors per 100,000 people.

Dujarric said the shortage of doctors underlines the importance of allowing more to travel to the region.

"Current flight limitations are hampering the movement of international experts involved in the control efforts," Dujarric said. "The ability of programs involved in controlling the outbreak to transport essential equipment and materials to the region is also being severely hampered."