WHO: 700 New Cases in One Week
More than 700 more Ebola cases have emerged in West Africa in the past week week, a statistic that showed the outbreak was rapidly accelerating, the World Health Organisation has said.
The UN health agency said on Thursday that more than 5,300 people have now contracted the virus, and that the latest statistics showed that just under half of these cases were recorded in the last three weeks.
Just three weeks ago the number of new cases was around 500 for a one-week period.
The death toll also passed 2,600 people, an increase of roughly 200 from the last estimate, WHO said.
Later on Thursday, the UN Security Council declared the outbreak a “threat to international peace and security” and called on all states to provide urgent resources and assistance to help tackle the crisis.
The alarm came as Sierra Leone readied for an unprecedented three-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the Ebola in a controversial move which experts claimed could worsen the epidemic.
The population of six million will be confined to their homes from midnight on Thursday as almost 30,000 volunteers go door-to-door uncovering patients and bodies hidden in people’s homes.
“Rain or shine, the shutdown exercise is going to go ahead. During the three days … the job is going to get done,” said Steven Gaojia, head of the government’s emergency operation centre.