SIERRA LEONE: Ebola could Spread to the Rest of the world, UN Warns

FREETOWN, DECEMBER, 02, 2014(CISA) -The head of the UN Ebola response mission in West Africa, Tony Banbury said that there is still a “huge risk” the deadly Ebola disease could spread to other parts of the world.

Tony Banbury declined to say if targets he had set in the fight against Ebola, to be achieved, had been met following the ultimate UN goal of zero Ebola deaths which was set to try to bend down the upward curve in the graph of cases.

The targets were for the proportion of people being treated and for the safe burial of highly infectious bodies.

The UN boss was speaking to the BBC in Freetown, one of the worst-affected areas.

“There is a huge risk to the world that Ebola will spread. It may spread around this sub-region, or someone could get on a plane to Asia, Latin America, North America or Europe… that is why it is so important to get down to zero cases as quickly as possible”.

Mr Banbury said the 70 percent targets were being met in “the vast majority” of areas in the three worst-affected countries – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“But in some areas”, he said, “Including here in Sierra Leone – especially in the capital Freetown and in the town of Port Loko – we are falling short. And it is in those areas where we really need to focus our assets and our capabilities.”

Between 200 and 300 people are dying from Ebola every week. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are by the far the worst-hit countries.

At the weekend in Sierra Leone’s capital, bulldozers were clearing large areas for a new burial ground.

At the clearance site, near a rubbish tip, car after car was arriving with bodies, and several hundred workers were digging graves.

In its latest report on November 29, the World Health Organisation said 6,928 people were now known to have died from Ebola. More than 16,000 have been infected.


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