Geneva, Aug 2 IANS | 5 months ago

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Saturday urged an immediate scale-up of efforts to tackle the Ebola outbreak in West African countries.

As of July 27, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria stood at 1,323, including 729 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The IFRC said only concerted action from the international community will enable the containment of this deadly virus, Xinhua reported.

However, there is prevalent fear not only within the affected communities, but also within the international community to respond to the situation, which may hinder the rapid control the outbreak.

"The Red Cross or Red Crescent is extremely worried that the situation is spiralling out of control. The response capacity and resources of the government and humanitarian aid agencies in the affected countries are already stretched beyond the limit, and the virus continues to spread, making this the deadliest outbreak of Ebola ever," the IFRC's emergency health coordinator Panu Saaristo said in a statement.

Saaristo stressed the spread of the virus can only be halted with scaled-up support and coordinated action by governments, corporations, donors and aid organisations.

As the Ebola virus disease spreads out of control across some of the poorest countries in West Africa, the IFRC is intensifying its response to the emergency by sending an emergency response unit to Kenema, one of the worst affected areas in Sierra Leone.

On Friday, the WHO and the West African nations affected by the Ebola virus disease announced a joint USD 100 million response plan to tackle the spread of the deadly disease.

(Posted on 03-08-2014)

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