LAGOS, Nigeria — Nigerian health authorities acknowledged Tuesday that they did not immediately quarantine a sick airline passenger who later died of Ebola, announcing that eight health workers who had direct contact with him were now in isolation with symptoms of the disease.
Ebola, which can cause victims to bleed from the eyes and mouths before a grisly death, has killed nearly 900 people across four countries in West Africa, a deeply impoverished region with severely limited medical resources.
The outbreak, which emerged in March, spread to Nigeria in late July when Patrick Sawyer, a 40-year-old American of Liberian descent, flew from Liberia’s capital to the megacity of Lagos. The announcement that Mr. Sawyer was not immediately quarantined underscores concerns that West Africa is ill-equipped to contain such a disease.
The official death toll for the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola now stands at 887, according to the World Health Organization. All but Sawyer have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where government officials said hundreds of troops were being deployed across the country to enforce quarantines.
Suez Canal expansion
CAIRO — Egyptian authorities Tuesday announced plans for a major upgrade of the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important waterways which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.
The project will involve digging 35 kilometres of a new parallel canal and widening the existing canal along a further 37 kilometres, Muhab Mumayish, Suez Canal Authority chief, told a conference in Ismailiya.
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi recently promised the public a “surprise,” raising expectations that he would reveal plans for an economic boost after the government abolished fuel subsidies.
Battle reaches Donetsk
DONETSK, Ukraine — Fighting in eastern Ukraine reached the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Tuesday as separatists and government troops exchanged rocket fire in neighborhoods on the edge of the city.
As government troops try to tighten their encirclement of rebel citadels, officials in Kiev have warned of a spike in Russian troop numbers along the border, arousing renewed fears of intervention by Moscow.
Enclave fighting flares
BAKU, Azerbaijan — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday expressed “deep concern” over the resurgence of fighting over the remote, mountainous enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh that by Monday had taken the lives of 13 Azerbaijanis and six Armenians, and urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the long-agreed cease-fire conditions.
A six-year war between the two former Soviet republics had been dormant since a truce was brokered by Russia 20 years ago — until clashes resumed in the South Caucasus region last week.
Also in the world …
The fighting in Gaza claimed an unexpected casualty among the British political elite Tuesday when Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim to serve in the British Cabinet, resigned, saying the government’s “approach and language” in the crisis had been “morally indefensible.” … With little more than six weeks to go before a referendum on independence for Scotland, the main British political parties promised Tuesday to grant new devolved powers to Scots if they decide to keep their union with the rest of Britain.
— Compiled from news services