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Ebola ban not lifted in Bahrain for Nigerians

MANAMA, November 26, 2014

Bahrain has not lifted a ban on Nigerians travelling here, despite the country being declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it has emerged.

Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi earlier this month gave clearance for Nigerians to travel freely after the visit of WHO experts who assessed Bahrain's readiness to fight the deadly virus, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

However, one Nigerian citizen said he was still unable to return to Bahrain if he leaves.

"As per the minister's statement in the Press, the Health Ministry has given clearance to all Nigerians and they can travel home to their country and can return to Bahrain without any hindrance after the country was declared Ebola-free by the WHO in October," he told the GDN on condition of anonymity.

"The situation on the ground seems to contradict the minister's statement and we hope authorities will consider our plight sympathetically, as it is very uncertain."

The 30-year-old, who has been in Bahrain for four years, said he was due to go on holiday for the first time in three years on December 1.

"In my attempts to travel home on December 1, I approached the immigration authorities at both the airport and their headquarters and was told that if I travelled, I would not be allowed to return," he said.

"I also know of cases of Nigerians currently residing in Bahrain who applied for their families to join them after the publication of the lifting of the ban, but have had their visa applications rejected on health grounds.

"Also, another resident who recently secured a new job and wants to transfer his visa had his application rejected even after the previous visa was cancelled by his former employer."

Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi told the GDN that the final decision on granting entry to Nigerians was being awaited from the Cabinet.

"We hope that the file, which has been cleared from the Health Ministry and is at present with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, will be discussed in the next Cabinet session," he said.

The GDN reported in August that 42 citizens of Ebola-affected nations in Bahrain, who had been to their home countries within three months of the crisis, were screened and all tested negative. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Ban | lift | Nigerian | ebola |

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