LONDON Aug 5 Minerals group Sierra Rutile
has begun screening its workers for early signs of
Ebola, put travel restrictions in place and limited access to
its operations in west Africa, the company said on Tuesday.
The company, which mines rutile in southwest Sierra Leone,
said the measures were precautionary and designed to reduce any
risk to its employees, contractors and visitors.
Rutile is a mineral mostly used in paints, plastics, paper
and in the manufacture of refractory ceramics.
"Sierra Rutile is monitoring the evolution of the situation
carefully to allow a rapid response if circumstances change and
will provide updates as necessary," it said in a statement.
The Ebola outbreak first began in February in the forests of
Guinea and was confirmed in Sierra Leone in May. The virus in
Sierra Leone was identified in the district of Kailahun, about
300 km from the company's operations.
There have been no reported or suspected cases of Ebola to
date at Sierra Rutile's operations and production has not been
disrupted as a result of the outbreak. The company said however
it had contingency plans should the situation worsen.
The outbreak in West Africa has killed about 900 people and
the toll continues to rise. The death rate in the current
epidemic is about 60 percent, experts say.
(Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by David Evans)