Liberia "very close” to zero Ebola cases

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Ebola Treatment Unit MoD in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: UNMEER/Christopher Bailey

Authorities in Liberia believe they're "very close" to eradicating Ebola and repairing the damage done to the economy, it's been announced.

Trade minister Axel Addy told reporters at the UN in Geneva that the country took a "dramatic hit" from the killer epidemic but communities were increasingly effective in taking measures to eradicate it.

The minister is in Geneva to present Liberia's application to the World Trade Organization which he hoped would be granted this year.

Daniel Johnson reports.

Ebola can be beaten in Liberia by the end of February and the country's economy can emerge stronger from the epidemic, its trade minister has announced.

"We think we can make it to zero (cases) by the end of February latest. We're very close to that…"

Axel Addy, minister for Commerce and Industry, speaking on Monday.

An initial December target of zero new cases has had to be pushed back, Mr Addy said, but 12 out of 15 counties have now reported zero cases for the critical 21-day incubation period of the disease.

The minister said that communities are seeing "more and more people" emerging alive from Ebola treatment centres and they've been encouraged to report infected individuals to the authorities.

Mr Addy made his comments at the UN in Geneva where he's presenting the West African country's accession package to join the World Trade Organization.

He confirmed that Liberia's economy had taken a "dramatic hit" from Ebola with GDP projections for 2014 at just one per cent, compared with the near six per cent figure that had been anticipated for the year.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations.

Duration: 1"00

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