OTTAWA - 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.
According to the most-recently available data from Statistics Canada, 904 people from the three countries came to Canada between January and October of this year.
The applications returned were for temporary resident visas and work and study permits, with the majority coming from Guinea.
The latest data from the WHO says there have been nearly 20,000 reported cases of the virus since the outbreak began last year and 7,588 reported deaths.
There are currently 37 Canadian Armed Forces doctors, medics, nurses and support staff working at a British-run Ebola treatment clinic in Sierra Leone.
Canada is also running two mobile laboratories in that country.
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Dgenebou Soumah, 20, Coyah Prefecture
"Her fiancé came to see her when she came home, but she doesn’t know if they will get married. Despite the death of her mother, her aunt, and her niece, she is full of life."
M’Balia, Coyah Prefecture
"M’Balia’s husband died in September. She is now facing extreme poverty and cannot afford to feed her children every day. As a widow with two children, she has no chance of remarrying."
Fanta and Sydia Bangoura
"Only the little girl was infected with the disease. The children haven’t realized that they are now orphans. The problem of caring for children affected by the disease is becoming urgent."
M’Balia Sylla with her father-in-law
"Her father-in-law has always supported her. It took a lot of persuasion from the community health workers to convince her to seek treatment. She works at the nursing station at the KM 36 military barracks. Ever since she received her certificate of discharge from the military, her community has been more present."
"Kanta is from a Wahhabi family. Despite her unease and the horrible stigma she suffers, she wants to speak up about her experience."
Bengali Souma, 27
"He lost his job and has to care for his younger brother and sister. He will need to be very successful in order to reintegrate into his community, otherwise they will continue to think that he is cursed."
Nyanbalamou Gabou, 24
"Nyanbalamou Gabou is a medical student. He raised awareness about the disease with his neighbors before being infected. As a result, he wasn’t rejected by his community when he returned home."
Mamadou Sadio Bah
"Mamadou Sadio Bah is a doctor in a health center. Ever since he got sick, he has been working to dispel myths about the disease."
Fanta Camara, 25
"She works at the Ebola Treatment Center in Donka. She lost her position as a teacher because of her illness."
"Fanta Cherif remains hidden in her house. Her friends don’t call her any more and her studies have been put on hold by her illness. The after-effects of the virus lasted for a long time in her case. You can recover from Ebola but still experience symptoms for up to seven weeks."
"Ever since her brother and five members of her family died, Fatoumata Binta has had to take care of her younger brother. Her neighbors have closed the shutters facing her house. She is thinking about working at the Ebola center in Donka."
"Crazy rumors about the Ebola epidemic are making it even more difficult for health workers to do their jobs. In the absence of treatment, the sick turn to their traditional healer, which contributes to the spread of the disease."
"People living in Coyah or at the KM 36 military base (shown above), who are infected with Ebola have to be treated at the Ebola Treatment Center in Donka Hospital in Conakry."
"Two of the main epicenters for the disease are in Nzerekore in Forest Guinea and in Conakry (shown above)."
"The sanitary conditions, the lack of access to running water, and poverty are preventing the population from fighting the Ebola outbreak."
"A prevention poster in Conakry. The government’s delay in responding to the crisis and the 24 billion Guinean francs in cuts from the health budget at the beginning of the outbreak contributed to the overall scale of the epidemic."