EduSA issues statement regarding Ebola virus

12, December, 2014


EduSA, the association of language schools in South Africa, has issued a statement on the Ebola virus encouraging agents and students to not be put off studying at its member schools in the country.



Photo: www.southafrica.net

Within the statement and on behalf of the association, Shaun Fitzhenry, Vice Chair of EduSA, notes that while they acknowledge concerns about Ebola, South Africa remains very far away geographically from the epicentre of the outbreak in West Africa.

“We wish to state that our first priority is and will remain the safety and well-being of students studying at our member schools, as well as that of their tutors,” Fitzhenry says in the statement.

“We understand that many agents and language students may have reservations about travelling to South Africa and, indeed, studying at one of our member schools in any of our destinations, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay.

“However, in dealing with the natural concerns and fears that people may have, we feel it necessary to point out that there is considerable distance between the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak and South Africa. Travel options between the countries affected and South Africa are somewhat limited. 

“Although the potential for widespread Ebola infections in African countries other than Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria is relatively low, the South African government is taking a very proactive approach, carefully monitoring traffic to and from West Africa at all ports of entry. There have been no known cases of Ebola reported in South Africa for close to 20 years; this remains true at this time for the current outbreak,” Fitzhenry concludes.

More than 6,000 people have now died from the 2014 outbreak of Ebola, with popular English language destinations Canada and Australia suspending visa processing from the affected West African countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“We do understand that people have an emotional reaction to this virus, and that this is what agents have to deal with. It is our view, however, that the current risk of contracting Ebola in South Africa is no higher than anywhere else in the world,” Fitzhenry concludes in the statement.

 

 

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