UN warns next 60 days "critical" to stop spread of Ebola infections

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Photo: WHO/C. Banluta

Sixty days starting from 1 October are critical to prevent more deaths from the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, according to the head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

Anthony Banbury briefed the Security Council via video conference from Accra, Ghana during the discussion of the health emergency on Tuesday.

Mr. Banbury recalled that the four things that are critical to stopping Ebola are to identify and trace contacts, manage cases, ensure safe burials and provide people with information they can use to protect themselves.

"If we do not reach these targets within 60 days and the numbers spike, many more people will die. This is what we are fighting for now. We are fighting to prevent unavoidable deaths. We are fighting for people who are alive and healthy today but will become infected by Ebola and die if we do not put in place the necessary emergency response."

Mr. Banbury said the efforts that are being made by the international community to tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa are not nearly enough to stop the disease.

He warned that Ebola "got a head start" and is "far ahead…running faster" and "winning the race" and stressed that it cannot be allowed to win.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are now more than 8,000 cases of Ebola and over 4,000 people have died from the disease.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’31″

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