The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday warned again of continuous deteriorating situation in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, saying “the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is spreading quickly’’.
The WHO in a statement in New York, said that an increase in new cases in Guinea was being driven by a spike in cases in the capital, Conakry, and the nearby district of Coyah.
In Liberia, it stated there was almost certainly significant under-reporting of cases from the capital Monrovia, while in Sierra Leone, intense transmission was still occurring in the capital Freetown and its surroundings.
The latest figures from WHO reports a total of 8,997 cases in seven countries, and 4,493 deaths. Health care workers have been paying a heavy tribute to the fight against Ebola with 427 infected and 236 dead.
The total number of operational laboratories in the three countries, the WHO said, would increase in the coming weeks, as a Russian Mobile Laboratory became operational in Guinea.
The statement said that a public health England laboratory had began to provide diagnostic testing in the Western Rural area of Sierra Leone.
Also, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) warned that Ebola was wiping out gains in safe motherhood made in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
It said that an estimated 800,000 women in these three countries should give birth in the next 12 months but many pregnant women were afraid to visit or turned away from overstretched health facilities.
UNFPA said that $64.5 million was needed to provide reproductive and maternal health services in the next three months.
On Monday, WHO warned that there could be up to 10,000 new Ebola cases weekly within two months.
WHO Assistant Director-General, Bruce Aylward said if the response to the Ebola crisis “is not stepped up within 60 days, a lot more people will die and there will be a huge need on the ground to deal with the spiraling numbers of cases.’’
He said that WHO estimated that there could be up to 10,000 cases per week in two months.
He also said that the death rate for the current Ebola outbreak had reached 70 %.
Aylward said that the 70 per cent death rate “is a high mortality disease” in any circumstance and that the UN health agency was still focused on trying to get sick people isolated and provide treatment as early as possible.