THE World Health Organization, WHO, will, tomorrow, declare Liberia free of the Ebola virus, even as the global health body said total number of deaths from the Ebola epidemic has exceeded 11,000 with more than 26,500 people being infected.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Liberia, Karin Landgren, said if no new case of Ebola was reported by tomorrow, the West African country would be declared officially free of Ebola.
When this happens, Liberia will be the first of the three worst affected countries to be rid of Ebola. To date, Liberia recorded the most deaths with 4,716, followed by Sierra Leone with 3,903 and Guinea where 2,386 have died.
Though the number of cases has topped 11,000, the WHO is due to declare the epidemic over in Liberia, unless there are new cases in the country before then. The number of new infections is also dwindling in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Only nine new cases were recorded in each country last week, the lowest figures for almost a year. The worst ever outbreak of Ebola began in southern Guinea in December 2013 before spreading to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Landgren who said important lessons have been learned, observed that a massive international response was launched by the UN and its partners to eradicate the deadly virus across West Africa.
“Ebola highlighted Liberia’s underlying fragility. Beyond the public health crisis, Liberians were angered by the Government’s slow response and by the rising cost of basic commodities, while the use of the Armed Forces and the introduction of a Sate of Emergency also fueled fears.”