The WHO Emergency Committee on Tuesday said the Ebola situation in West Africa no longer constitute public health emergency and as such the temporary recommendations adopted in response should now be terminated.

This information is contained in a statement issued after the ninth meeting convened by the WHO.

The Committee noted that Ebola transmission in West Africa no longer constitute an extraordinary event, that the risk of international spread was now low.

It further stated that countries currently had the capacity to respond rapidly to new virus emergences and emphasised that there should be no restrictions on travel and trade with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and that such measures should be lifted immediately.

Specifically, it added, the three countries had now completed the 42-day observation period and additional 90-day enhanced surveillance period since their last case that was linked to the original chain of transmission twice tested negative.

It said that Guinea achieved this milestone on March 27.

The Committee also observed that as expected, new clusters of Ebola cases continued to occur due to reintroductions of virus as it was cleared from the survivor population, though at decreasing frequency.

It said that 12 such clusters had been detected to date, the most recent of which was reported on March 17 in Guinea and was ongoing.

Based on the advice of the Emergency Committee and her own assessment of the situation, the WHO Director-General, Margret Chan, terminated the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) regarding the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa.

She did it in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005).

The director-general terminated the temporary recommendations issued in relation to this event and expressed support to the public health advice provided above by the Committee.

She also reinforced the importance of States Parties immediately, lifting any restrictions on travel and trade with these countries.

She thanked the Emergency Committee members and advisers for their service and expert advice, and requested their availability to reconvene if needed.