- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Australia’s immigration minister put the brakes on processing any applications from travelers who were trying to enter the country from an Ebola-affected area, saying they would have to stay out until the danger’s passed.

Australia’s also suspending its humanitarian program to those countries, said Scott Morrison, during an address to parliamentary members about the “strong controls” he’s enacted to protect citizens from Ebola’s spread, CNN reported.

Mr. Morrison also added that any holders of permanent Australian visas who were currently living or visiting the Ebola-ridden nations would be subjected to a mandatory three-week quarantine, before they left that country to return home, CNN said. And then, when they arrived in Australia, they would be forced to undergo further screening, he said.

The Australian Medical Association’s president Brian Owler called the announcement a “surprise,” CNN said.

“It’s not necessarily a very well-focused decision,” he said, CNN reported. “The bigger picture needs to be on our preparedness at home but more importantly our involvement in West Africa itself, putting doctors and nurses and other logistical elements in place and trying to combat the crisis there.”

Meanwhile, Greens in parliament aren’t too happy with the announcement.

“While the government drags its feet in responding to the Ebola crisis, Scott Morrison has slammed the door on West African refugees,” said Greens’ immigration spokeswoman, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, CNN reported. “This miserly, selfish and cruel announcement from the government is not a reflection of our nation’s character.”

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