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N. Korea bans Spanish man over Ebola fears

AFP/The Local · 28 Oct 2014, 10:05

Published: 28 Oct 2014 10:05 GMT+01:00

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Marc Martínez Sarrado was turned down because he is from Spain, which is considered by Pyongyang "to be a risk country," businessman Paul Tjia told the Dutch NOS public broadcaster.

Sarrado is an NOS cameraman based in Beijing and has not been in Spain since July, or before Spain saw its first Ebola case.

"As a Spanish passport holder I've been rejected to get in #DPRK. #Spain considered country of risk," he wrote on Twitter.

Sarrado was supposed to travel to the secretive state with six other journalists on a trip organised by the Rotterdam-based Tjia, who does business with North Korea.

Tjia said Sarrado had been given an entry visa but the situation had now changed.

"I have received word that you don't have permission to enter the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)," Tjia told Sarrado in a letter.

Last week Pyongyang said it would close its borders to foreign tourists because of Ebola.

Travel agencies — including two based in China — issued statements Thursday informing clients that North Korea would ban tourists until further notice because of the threat of the disease.

SEE ALSO: "North Korea is superior to Spain" - The Local's profile of the country's unofficial Spanish ambassador 

Story continues below…

The epidemic has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa, and some countries have banned travellers and flights from Ebola-hit countries.

Spanish nursing assistant Teresa Romero in October became the first person known to have contracted the deadly virus outside of Africa after treating two infected Spanish missionaries repatriated from Sierra Leone in August and September.

She has since beaten the virus, while ten other people who had been isolated at a Madrid hospital after having contact with her were sent home on Monday after completing a 21-day quarantine period.   

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AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

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