(Adds quotes from Ghana's president, details)
ACCRA Aug 28 West African states should re-open
their borders and end flight bans put in place to halt the
spread of Ebola, the Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) said on Thursday.
The ECOWAS countries and airlines will make their own
decisions on flight bans and borders, but the view of the main
regional body, expressed at a meeting of ECOWAS health ministers
in Ghana's capital, is likely to prove influential.
"We must implement containment measures but we must not
implement measures that will isolate or ostracise the affected
countries," Ghana President John Mahama, who is also ECOWAS's
current chairman, told the meeting.
"Excessive restrictions of travel and border closures will
adversely affect the economies of the sub-region," he said.
West African governments have implemented a patchwork of
measures in a bid to stem the spread of the recent Ebola
outbreak, which has killed more than 1,550 people.
Some including Ivory Coast and Gambia have stopped airlines
from allowing passengers to disembark if they have first come
from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the countries hardest hit
by the outbreak.
(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg;
Editing by Joe Bavier and Hugh Lawson)