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Port steps up checks to combat Ebola threat

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Port steps up checks to combat Ebola threat
Ships docked in Gothenburg port. Photo: Oliver Mallich/Flickr
14:44 CEST+02:00
Gothenburg harbour is tightening its routines regarding the control of ships from west Africa as a result of the Ebola epidemic.

The harbour on Sweden's west coast has vowed to increase their existing routines and be more vigilant. An average of one tanker a month docks in Gothenburg port with a delivery of crude oil from Nigeria. 

Following the Ebola outbreak, which has claimed almost 5,000 lives, the port is going to have closer contact with national health authorities and have greater interaction with the tankers before they dock.

The harbour master of the port, Jörgen Wallroth, told Sveriges Radio that the prospects of Ebola entering Sweden via the port were "awfully small" as it takes between 17 - 22 days for a tanker to complete the journey from west Africa to Sweden - almost as long as the incubation period for the disease.

"We'd rather be safe than sorry and do the checks," Wallroth said.

Lysekil's oil harbour, also on the west coast, is the only other entry point for ships from western Africa but has not yet changed their existing checks.

"We'll take a look at the routines used currently and decide if we need to sharpen them. But there are only a few ships that come here from there," Tove Grönkvist, press officer at Preem, which operates the harbour in Lysekil told the TT news agency.

Earlier this week The Local reported that the Barack Obama spoke with the new Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to discuss ways to combat the Ebola virus.

Sweden has already pledged 240 million kronor ($33.4 million) to counter the outbreak.  

TT/The Local/pr

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