HAVANA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Cuban health authorities took steps Friday to protect the country against the Ebola virus, after the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global alert to prevent the spread of the disease.
Niurka Molina, head of the Public Health Ministry's international disease control, said the measures apply to both travelers and Cuban doctors arriving from Africa, where an Ebola outbreak has claimed nearly a thousand lives.
Thousands of Cuban doctors and healthcare workers are working in Africa, and other regions, as part of the country's four-decade outreach policy, which has come to be known as medical diplomacy.
The safety measures are in effect at ports of entry, including airports and seaports, said Molina.
She added that monitoring will be more rigorous for those arriving from Sierra Leone and Guinea, where 363 and 286 people respectively have died from the disease.
The WHO on Friday warned that the disease was now a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern" and called for a coordinated international response to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola. The current outbreak, according to the WHO, began in Guinea in December 2013 and spread to Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where a total of 1,711 cases have been reported, including 932 deaths.