6 Nov 2014

Migrants spark Ebola fears at Canary Islands nudist beach

A boat of immigrants from Sierra Leone sparks Ebola fears in Gran Canaria after arriving on a nudist beach.

The 19 migrants landed on the Maspalomas nudist beach on Wednesday morning after travelling in an open boat from the continent.

Local and national police isolated the group of migrants after it emerged two were suffering from a fever – amid fears they could be infected with Ebola.

Nudists on the Maspalomas beach after a boat of migrants arrives (Reuters)

However, following epidemiological tests, the Canarian government said there was no need to activate emergency protocols, and the migrants – reported to have looked exhausted but in good health – were taken to a shelter.

Hundreds of migrants from Africa travel each year to the Canary Islands, often via open fishing boats called pateras.

Migrants from Sierra Leone at Maspalomas

Local police burned the boat the migrants had arrvied in, though it was not clear if that was a part of Ebola protocols.

On Wednesday the World Health Organisation updated its statistics on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It said there have been 13,015 cases and 4,808 deaths.

Migrants from Sierra Leone at Maspalomas

It said in Guinea the weekly number of new cases appears to be stabilising, and declining in Liberia. However, in Sierra leone, the number of new cases continues to rise.

WHO said the number of cases and deaths are likely to be under-reported.