JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will screen travelers arriving from West African countries in an effort to prevent the Ebola virus from entering the country.
Travelers arriving from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the countries currently most affected by the virus, will be questioned at all border crossings — land, sea and air — according to a statement issued Sunday by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The statement was released after a Sunday morning meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on the Ebola crisis of officials from the health, transportation, interior and justice ministries, as well as officials from the military, police and airport authority.
“This is a global epidemic and we are cooperating with other countries and, in addition to protecting our borders, we are taking a series of steps to isolate patients, if they come, and of course to treat them in our healthcare systems,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “We hope there will be no need for it, but we are prepared for all scenarios.”
Israeli and Palestinian Authority representatives met on Saturday night to discuss cooperation on preventing Ebola from spreading to the area as well as what to do should the disease hit either population. Future meetings reportedly are scheduled.
The new screening guidelines came as a second Ebola victim was identified in the United States — a health-care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who cared for an Ebola patient who died at the hospital last week.