By Helen Branswell, THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO: Canada is following in Australia’s footsteps and is suspending visa applications for residents and nationals of the West African countries battling Ebola.

The federal government signalled it would stop issuing visas in the worker, student or visitor class and won’t issue any pending permanent residency visas for people from those countries either.

Any applications already in the system will also not be processed at this time.

The change, which goes into effect immediately, was announced today in the Canada Gazette.

A spokesperson for the minister of Citizenship and Immigration says the move is similar to but a bit less restrictive than the one the Australian government announced this week.

That move was slammed Thursday by Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organization, who said closing borders will not stop spread of the Ebola virus.


© 2014 The Canadian Press