MANILA -- The Philippines has stopped sending Filipino workers to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, where the deadly Ebola virus is quickly spreading.
In a news briefing on Tuesday, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the temporary ban is being implemented, as health officials remain on "heightened alert" for symptoms of Ebola among travellers from the three West African states.
Mr Ona said five of 15 Filipinos who recently arrived from Sierra Leone are still under observation. The rest tested negative and had been released, he said.
The foreign ministry's spokesman Charles Jose also said on Tuesday that there has so far been no reports of Ebola infection among some 3,700 Filipinos in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Tel Aviv-based Consul Lorenzo Rhys Jungco IV said the government is particularly concerned with 148 Filipino peacekeepers who have been in Liberia since December last year.
The soldiers have been instructed to limit "all non-essential movements".
Military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Ramon Zagala said the peacekeepers were told to stay inside their barracks and offices, and to avoid "off-duty" excursions.
The Philippines has raised "crisis alert level 2" over Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, advising Filipinos there to avoid unnecessary travel and crowded areas.