CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) – St Lucia has become the second country within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to place an immediate ban on nationals from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone entering the country because of the deadly Ebola virus.

A government statement Wednesday stated that given the extent of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in those West African countries, Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony has advised the Commissioner of Police, Vernon Francois, to implement with “immediate effect, a prohibition on persons from these countries who wish to travel to St Lucia.

“All visitors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will be denied entry into St Lucia until further notice,” the statement said, adding despite the fact that the President of Nigeria has declared that Nigeria is Ebola free, visitors from that country will be required to present a recent medical certificate which clears them of the virus, in addition to a having a visa to be allowed entry into St Lucia.

Prime Minister Anthony said that St Lucia would continue to monitor the outbreak and has allocated resources to prepare for any possible threat. There is no known cure for the virus that has killed nearly 5,000 people mainly in the three affected West African countries.

“Recent events in Dallas, Texas have prompted a heightened awareness and necessitate strong action to ensure that St Lucia is protected,” the Prime Minister said.

The Government statement said that the Ministry of Health will continue to monitor developments in the United States and Europe, as well as the three severely affected West African countries and will provide updates to the public.

Earlier, St Vincent and the Grenadines announced ban on visitors from the African countries and Grenada said it too was contemplating a similar ban.