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article imageIOC bans 3 West African athletes from Youth Olympics

By Martin Laine     Aug 15, 2014 in Sports
Concerned about the possible spread of the Ebola virus, the International Olympic Committee has banned athletes from the affected regions from competing in swimming and combat events at the Youth Olympics, set to begin this weekend in Nanjing, China.
In a press release issued Friday, the IOC said “We regret that due to this issue [Ebola] some young athletes may have suffered twice, both by the anguish caused by the outbreak in their home countries and by not being able to compete in the Youth Olympic Games.”
The ban directly affects three athletes, one swimmer and two competitors in combat events. In their statement, the IOC says the decision was reached after consultation with both the World Health Organization Chinese Health officials. They also emphasize that there is no indication any athletes from West Africa have been exposed to the Ebola virus.
West African athletes competing in other events will be regularly monitored during the games.
In other developments, air travel to the entire African continent have been disrupted, even from areas thousands of miles away from the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, where the outbreak has been concentrated, according to an article on the Bloomberg news website.
Korean Airlines Co. will end all flights to Nairobi, Kenya, on August 20, its only service to sub-Saharan Africa, even though it’s on the opposite end of the continent, and has recorded no Ebola cases. Nevertheless, a WHO official described Nairobi as “high risk” because of flight connections to the affected regions.
Several smaller regional airlines from Gambia, Togo, and Nigeria have halted flights to the stricken region.
Lufthansa, Air Brussels, and Air France have kept up flights to the region, but say they are screening all passengers “very carefully” for systems before boarding. They have also made arrangements to isolate any passengers who might fall ill in flight by isolating them, having them wear face masks, and using a separate wash room, according to the Bloomberg article.
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