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Red Cross in Guinea Says Series of Attacks on its Personnel Hampers Efforts to Contain Ebola




Liberia Battles Spreading Ebola EpidemicThe Red Cross teams in Guinea have warned that series of attacks on its personnel was hampering efforts to contain the disease.

Youssouf Traore, President of the Red Cross Society, Guinea said on Thursday in Conakry, that the team has been attacked on average of 10 times a month over the past year.

He stated in the most recent incident which occurred last Sunday in the town of Forecariah, which is about 60 kilometres southeast of Conakry, two Red Cross volunteers were beaten while trying to conduct a safe burial.

Traore said ending traditional burials was seen as crucial to stopping the spread of the latest Ebola outbreak, because rituals often involve extensive contact with highly contagious corpses.

“As long as people have misconceptions about how Ebola is spread, and continue to prevent volunteers from doing their work, we will not stop the disease,” he said.

Traore said the number of new cases in Guinea nearly doubled last week to 64, therefore jeopardizing government plan to get to zero new cases by early March.

Traore said he thought hostility towards the charity was due to rumours, that it had been disinfecting schools and vaccinating children, amid fears this was part of a plot to infect locals with the virus.

He recalled that President Barack Obama said he was bringing back nearly all U.S. troops fighting the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and marking a new phase in the battle to help countries “get to zero” cases.

Traore said Guinea has the longest way to go in ending the outbreak.

Government officials said the locals especially around Conakry continued to hide sick friends and relatives from authorities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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