Airport authorities in Conakry, Guinea refused landing rights to a Senegalese military aircraft that returned the cured Guinean Ebola patient from Dakar.
Airport authorities said they ‘‘acted upon directives from government’’ which was in an apparent reaction to Senegal’s closure of the land, sea and air borders with Ebola affected countries.
After several minutes in the air above the Conakry airport on Monday, the small Senegalese army plane finally made an emergency landing on an airstrip in Kédougou, a town located in Senegal along the Guinean border.
Sources in Conakry confirmed today that the cured Ebola patient, Mamadou A. Diallo finally entered the country through the land border and has joined his parents and relatives in the capital.
Mamadou Diallo was the first infected person in Senegal. He was quarantined in a University teaching hospital in Dakar.
After his recovery, the government of Senegal provided him with his immediate needs including an undisclosed amount of money, clothing, medical gears and a television set.
Mr Diallo who is a university student in Guinea recounted that he contracted the Ebola virus in August during the funeral ceremony of his brother in Guinea and who also had been infected during a visit to Sierra Leone.
FLEE TO DAKAR
Not convinced of the medical facilities in Conakry where patients were dying on a daily basis, Mr Diallo decided to flee to Dakar hopeful of receiving a cure.
He successfully bypassed immigration officials at the land crossing points by passing through the bushes and finally arrived in Dakar where he eventually joined his relatives and friends.
Mr Diallo subsequently exposed his health concerns to his relatives and finally tested positive at the Fann University teaching hospital where he was immediately quarantined while the 57 people he had contact with were also quarantined. After 21 days, the others were discharged after testing negative.
Senegalese authorities have since been carrying out wide publicity of the fact that the country is anew Ebola-free.
The health ministry is persistently challenging law enforcement authorities to tightly man the entry points with affected countries to preclude a recurrence of Mr Diallo’s scenario which by all indications is expected to recur.