March 22, 2016 / 10:45 AM / 3 years ago

Liberia closes border with Ebola-hit Guinea

MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia closed its border with Guinea on Tuesday as a precaution against Ebola following at least four deaths from the virus in Guinea, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe said.

The deaths have occurred since Feb. 29, while Liberia was declared free of new transmissions of the virus in January.

“We have ordered the border with Guinea closed with immediate effect. The border will remain closed until the situation in Guinea improves,” Nagbe told Reuters.

“We are not taking any chance at all.”

A team of medics with protective gear had been sent to the border to improve surveillance.

Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, has killed about 11,300 people in the two countries plus Sierra Leone since late 2013 and it caused global alarm in 2014 as governments and health agencies rushed to help contain the outbreak.

New cases have dwindled virtually to zero but the U.N. World Health Organization has warned of flare-ups, or emerging clusters, of new cases.

(This version of the story corrects surname of the minister in para 1 and 3)

Reporting by Alphonso Toweh; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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