Ebola outbreak: Canada turned 176 people away after imposing travel ban

Newly-released figures show an estimated 176 people were turned away from Canada after the imposition of a partial travel ban from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.

Federal government in October barred people coming from affected countries in West Africa

A protester demonstrates in favour of a travel ban to stop the spread of the Ebola virus, in front of the White House in Washington in October. That same month, Canada imposed a travel ban from affected West African countries and subsequently turned away 176 people. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Newly-released figures show an estimated 176 people were turned away from Canada after the imposition of a partial travel ban from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.

The federal government put the controversial measures in place at the end of October, barring people from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from receiving visas to come to Canada.

At the same time, the government announced it would also stop processing visa and visitor applications in the queue.

In newly-published information, the immigration department says an estimated 176 applications have been affected, resulting in a return of approximately $20,000 in fees.

The World Health Organization had asked countries not to close their borders due to the Ebola outbreak and Canada's move drew widespread condemnation.

But the government said the ban was only partial as it did not apply to Canadians coming from the affected region nor people who already had visas, and thus did not contravene international health regulations.