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World Bank President says restricting travel for Ebola-affected countries not the solution

October 22nd, 2014
03:13 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The world has coalesced around a “much better strategy” in the Ebola fight, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday, but emphasized that there should be no move towards restricting travel to and from the most-affected West African countries.

“It’s extremely important not to isolate these three countries,” he said. “One of the things as a medical doctor – and especially for Ebola – one of the greatest tools we have is to elicit what we call a ‘travel history’ – where have you been.”

“And if we isolate these three countries then we’re going to lose the travel history, because there’s going to be such a temptation to lie about where you’ve been, especially if you’ve been in these three countries.”

The United States on Tuesday announced restrictions on travel from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, saying people whose travel originated in those countries may only enter the U.S. through one of five airports.

As Western nations fret about the spread of Ebola at home, Kim “emphasized that the “ground game” in West Africa is most important.

“It seems like some of the habits in the [countries] have changed – more health workers are coming in – but we still haven't turned a corner.”

“Discussions that are happening right now around potential vaccine candidates and various drugs,” he said, “give us some sense that more is being done and there are some possibilities.”

“But still the ground game is critical. The ground game is safe burials. The ground game is identifying all the people with Ebola, providing them treatment, and then making sure they're isolated.”

“The big issue is not a miracle drug. The big issue is getting enough people, enough health workers, who can make it happen.”

Click above to watch the full interview.

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode
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