GENEVA: A period of at least six months will be required to curb the spread of the Ebola virus that has claimed more than 1,000 lives, the president of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Saturday.
According to Dr. Joanne Liu, control over the virus must be established in half a year. Liu said particular attention should be given to Liberia, where 71 new cases of Ebola were registered in the past two days.
The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said the number of Ebola cases and deaths “vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.”
WHO officials warned that the outbreak may rage on for several more months. Latest reports put the death toll at 1,069 and the number of infected cases at 1,975, mostly in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The UN agency has urged donors to allocate $100 million to combat the outbreak.
The European Union (EU) foreign ministers also on Saturday called for a strong follow-up and a coordinated international response to contain the spread of Ebola virus.
In a statement, the EU took note of the recent decision by the WHO to declare the Ebola outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, and pledged its support for the countries concerned to combat the disease.
The EU has committed 11.9 million euros ($15.9 million) assistance to the affected countries through the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, the statement said.
According to WHO statistics released on Thursday, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone stands at 1,975, including 1,069 deaths.