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National Tourism Administration highlights Ebola prevention on Africa tours

Chen Mengwei in Beijing
Updated: Aug 13,2014 7:12 PM

On Aug 12, the National Tourism Administration has asked tourism departments in all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities to take necessary precautions to prevent Ebola from spreading to China through individuals arriving from western African countries.

The administration called for vigilance as more Chinese tourists are expected to travel to South Africa and other African countries during the summer.

The current outbreak has spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria after it was first detected in Guinea in March, and a total of 1,800 people have been infected, including 961 who have died. There have not been any reported cases of Ebola in China, or among Chinese citizens overseas. But some cases of cross-border infection in other countries have been reported.

The administration has asked all local tourism bureaus to work with the departments of health and family planning and quality supervision to make plans to prevent the Ebola virus from reaching China.

Officials asked local governments to take immediate action - according to the new plans - if any person who visited affected countries had contact with an infected person or with an individual suspected of being infected.

And if anyone who has visited the affected countries is found to have symptoms related to the disease, they should be isolated - and the case must be reported to relevant government organs, including the health and disease prevention departments and the tourism bureau.

Companies that offer group tours to the four affected African countries should tell tour participants how to protect themselves from the Ebola virus, like avoiding contact with people who may have contracted the virus and also avoiding contact with wild animals.

The administration called for further training for tour guides and others who are involved in accompanying such tour groups to Africa, so as to protect themselves and their customers. And information regarding Ebola should be provided to as many visitors to the continent as possible.