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Ebola slows down as reaching '70-70-60' target

Updated: 2014-12-02 09:08

GENEVA - The World Health Organization's Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward on Monday said the Ebola outbreaks is slowing down due to the affected West Africa countries almost reach the 70 percent target of safe burials, case isolation and treatment.

Given that increasing gap between the rapid rise of disease and the ability and capacity to treat that, WHO and the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response set the target of the so-called "70-70-60 plan", which aimed to try to get 70 percent of the cases isolated and treated, and 70 percent of the deceased safely buried within 60 days from the beginning of October to Dec 1, Aylward told a press conference at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

He said two months ago the deadly disease is escalating in many places and exponential growth was seen in term of new cases, which driven by the shortage of treatment beds as well as burial teams.

With the unprecedented supports of international community, strong national leadership and community engagement, Aylward said "we were in a very different place".

Aylward, who in charge of WHO's response of Ebola outbreaks, updated that in all the three countries, more than 70 percent of the Ebola deaths are buried safely due to the numbers of safe burial teams have more than doubled over the last 60 days, from less than 100 to nearly 200.

In terms of the percentage of cases treated in the Ebola treatment center or community care center, he added Liberia and Guinea are currently treating more than 70 percent of the reported cases, and Sierra Leone is expected to meet the target in the coming weeks as planned additional beds capacity being rolled out.

Meanwhile, he also noted the numbers of available Ebola treatment beds basically doubled across the three heavily-affected countries, Sierra Leone witnessed the greatest increase from about 267 in late September to almost 650 on Dec 1, Liberia from 480 to near 1,000.

"Yes, we are on track because of the disease is slowing down with the 70 percent achievement to stop Ebola," he said, hailing this reached an important milestone along the way.

"The stepped up both safe burials and in proportion of cases being isolated, is reflected in the epidemiology, as you seen, there has a real slow down in the speed of new cases, fortunately in most areas across the West Africa," he added.

"We were no longer seeing exponential growth and in some areas we were seen declining disease," He said.

However, he noted the disease is still increasing in some hotspot areas and in order to forward stop the outbreaks, He said $1.55 billion needed in the immediate response period.

"As we go forward, we are going to need more help to ensure that international support can get into these countries more easily," he said.

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