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IFRC urges to tackle Ebola outbreak

Updated: 2014-08-03 07:58
( Xinhua)

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

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

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

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 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," Panu Saaristo, the IFRC's emergency health coordinator said in a statement.

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

"We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to what is happening in western Africa. Inaction will cause the further spread of this deadly virus across the borders of this remote region, making true our fears," he added.

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