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Korean Air suspends Kenya flights over Ebola

Carrier says suspending flights to its only destination in Africa will help prevent spread of virus.

Last updated: 14 Aug 2014 11:56
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The South Korean flag carrier will stop operating flights between Incheon and Nairobi [AP]

Korean Air Lines Co. is suspending flights to and from Kenya in what it says is a measure to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.

The South Korean flag carrier said on Thursday it would stop operating flights between the southern city of Incheon and Nairobi from August 20.

The carrier flies to Nairobi, which is its only destination in Africa, three times a week and did not say when it would resume its service.

Ebola has not been detected in Kenya yet during this most recent outbreak, the worst recorded.

The outbreak has killed more than 1,000 people since the start of the year in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Nigeria last month became the fourth West African country affected.

Dubai carrier Emirates was the first major international airline to impose a ban in response to the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa by suspending flights to Guinea on August 2.

Liberia receives experimental drug

News of the move came after Liberia received the last known doses of the experimental drug ZMapp, to be administered to a small number of patients infected with the virus.

The boxes containing the drug were brought to Liberia on board a flight from the US, carried personally by Liberian Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan.

Dr Moses Massaquoi, who helped the Liberian government acquire the doses of ZMapp, said there was enough of the drug to treat three people, one more than the government had stated earlier.

Massaquoi also said he was holding talks with the Canadian maker of another experimental Ebola drug.

The Canadian government has promised to donate 800 to 1,000 doses of its untested Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

But manufacturer Tekmira Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday said further trials were required before it could make the treatment available, despite this week's assurances by the WHO that it was ethical to use untested treatments to fight the outbreak.

Nigeria cases rise

The developments came as Nigeria announced its number of confirmed Ebola cases had risen by one to 11.

The figure included three deaths and eight people who were being treated at a special isolation unit set up in Lagos, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said.

Nigeria has not recorded a case outside Lagos but there were fears that a nurse who was infected in the city may have carried the virus to the key eastern city of Enugu.

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