MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti) – Uzbekistan’s Public Health Ministry has recommended the organizing committee of the wrestling championship in Tashkent abstain from inviting West African athletes due to Ebola concerns, a representative of the country’s sanitary authority told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
The world wrestling competition is due to be held in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent on September 8-14.
“Given the current Ebola-related epidemiological situation, we have recommended the organizing committee of the [world wrestling] championship abstain from inviting athletes from Ebola-hit West African countries,” the representative said.
On Sunday, Uzbekistan’s Public Health Ministry received a letter from the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) with a demand to clarify the country’s position on the participation of athletes from West African countries in the world wrestling competition.
According to the Uzbek sanitary watchdog, Uzbekistan’s Public Health Ministry has sent an official reply to FILA with an explanation of the situation.
The representative added that the athletes arriving from other African countries will be under medical surveillance during their entire stay in Uzbekistan.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1,400 people have died from the Ebola virus disease since its outbreak in West Africa, with more deaths expected in Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Historically, the disease has a mortality rate of about 90 percent, although the current outbreak has so far recorded fewer deaths per infection. Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of the infected.