Obama calls for more action to combat Ebola

Obama calls for more action to combat Ebola


U.S. President Barack Obama called on more nations to help fight the world’s worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, saying hundreds of thousands of lives were at stake.

The warning came shortly after the World Health Organisation gave a rare hint of optimism in the West African crisis, announcing that the spread of the disease in Guinea appeared to have stabilised.

Sierra Leone put three more districts — home to over a million people and major mining operations — under indefinite quarantine.

An outbreak that began in a remote corner of Guinea has taken hold of much of neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing nearly 3,000 people in just over six months. Senegal and Nigeria have recorded cases but, for now, contained the spread of Ebola.

“More nations need to contribute critical assets and capabilities — whether it’s air transport, medical evacuation, health care workers, equipment or treatment,” President Obama told a meeting on Ebola on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

“If unchecked, this epidemic could kill hundreds of thousands of people in the coming months.”

Weak health systems have been overrun by one of the deadliest diseases, and reliable information on its spread is scarce. But most experts warn that the number of cases recorded so far represents a fraction of the true total, with many victims unable or unwilling to come forward for treatment.

WHO said earlier this week the total number of infections could reach 20,000 by November, months earlier than previously forecast.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned between 550,000 and 1.4 million people might be infected in the region by January if nothing was done.

The United States is deploying 3,000 soldiers to build treatment centres and train local medics. Other nations, including Britain, France, China and Cuba, have pledged military and civilian personnel alongside cash and medical supplies.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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