Passengers travelling to the US from Mali will have to undergo stricter Ebola screening and monitoring at US airports.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added Mali to the list because there had been few confirmed Ebola cases in the country. More precisely, there have been at least three confirmed Ebola deaths and two other suspected deaths in Mali’s capital Bamako to date.
CDC said in a statement: "The CDC recommended this measure because there have been a number of confirmed cases of Ebola in Mali in recent days, and a large number of individuals may have been exposed to those cases.
"Thus, the action is warranted as a precaution due to the possibility that other cases of Ebola may emerge in Mali in the coming days. CDC will continue to reassess this determination on a regular basis going forward."
While there are no daily direct flights from Mali to the US, a small number of travellers start their journey in Mali and transit through other countries en-route to the US.
The department stated that most of these passengers are citizens of US or lawful permanent residents returning home to America.
Passengers travelling from countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea already have to undergo enhanced entry screening.
After the announcement, all travellers entering the US from Mali will be subject to the 21-day monitoring and movement protocols that have to be followed by passengers from the other three African nations. They have to undergo daily temperature and symptom checks twice in a day in coordination with state or local public health authorities.
The department will also work with airlines to ensure that passengers coming in from the affected countries are re-routed to the five airports that are screening passengers from these countries, including New York JFK, Newark, Washington-Dulles, Chicago-O’Hare, and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson.