This is a move that makes Canada oppose the WHO’s appeal to be considerate and not give in to panic. By banning visas from West African nations that the media reports as being affected by the Ebola virus, Canada joins wealthy nations like Australia and UK in closing its doors to the needy. A UN spokesperson reacted saying, ‘by suspending the issuance of visas to the residents and nationals of these countries, Canada has violated the International Health Regulations that it had formulated during the SARS outbreak in 2003’.
It has also been reported in the media that around 5000 people have died in three West African nations, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Fears abound that the disease could spread like wildfire to many regions after a few cases were reported from the US and Spain.
Under the new move Canada will take the following steps:
- No processing of visa applications from nationals of these West African nations
- Ban applies to visitor visa, student visa and worker visas for people from these nations
- Visa applications though applied three months prior to the outbreak will be returned
- Permanent visa applications from these countries too stand suspended until further notice
- These changes however do not affect Canadian healthcare workers working in West Africa/any of those Ebola affected countries
Many countries like Cuba, Spain, US, Phillipines, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and others have their medical fraternity pitching in to help these nations fight the deadly outbreak. A total of 4951 people have died from the virus, with 13,567 cases being reported from 8 countries, not taking into account the number of suspected cases.
News Source: CNN
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