Monday, 20 October 2014


By NALINEE SEELAL Monday, October 20 2014

A NIGERIAN woman was denied entry into the country on Friday evening shortly after she arrived via a flight from New York, as the Government’s ban on travel into this country of persons from five African nations currently in the grip of the worst ever Ebola epidemic took effect.

Newsday was told the Nigerian woman arrived at Piarco International Airport on Caribbean Airlines flight BW 525 from New York. It is understood that she left Nigeria and travelled to New York before arriving at Piarco.

Immigration officials, on realising the woman held a Nigeria Passport, ushered her to a room at the airport where Port Health officials interviewed her. The woman indicated she came to Trinidad to visit and spend vacation with her daughter who lives in Trinidad.

The Port Health officials later told the woman of the ban instituted by the TT Government on persons travelling from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As such, they advised her that she would not be allowed entry into the country.

The woman, Newsday was told, asked to speak to officials of the Nigerian Embassy in this country but was unable to do so. She then asked to speak with her daughter.

The woman then indicated she would lodge a formal protest over being denied entry to her government when she arrives home. She was then placed on a flight, later on Friday evening, bound for New York to get a connector flight to Nigeria.

Brigadier General Phillip Spencer, who is the head of the newly formed Ebola Prevention Response Team confirmed the deportation to Newsday, saying the woman passed a screening test in Nigeria before she left for New York to attend a wedding. In New York, she again passed a screening test. However, because of the mandate by Cabinet, all persons travelling from the five listed West African countries would be denied entry into Trinidad and Tobago.

At last Thursday’s post Cabinet press conference, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan revealed Cabinet had decided to impose the ban on persons travelling from the five West African nations hit by the Ebola Virus which has caused over 4,000 deaths. In addition, Trini nationals returning from those five nations would have to be quarantined and tested to ensure they do not have the disease.

Immigration sources confirmed this was the first deportation of an individual from the five West African countries to be deported since the ban took effect. Newsday understands Port Health officials have been assigned to all ports of entry to specifically deal with the issue of the Ebola Virus in terms of allowing or refusing persons entry into the country.

No comments :

Post a Comment