Via The New Dawn, an April 10 report: Ellen dismisses Ebola spread, but death toll hits 12. Excerpt:
While the World Health Organization is announcing 12 Ebola deaths in Liberia, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says “the disease is not spreading” the way she understands it, and has lauded health workers here for their timely intervention.
Attending President Sirleaf’s appreciation visit with health workers Wednesday 9 April in Congo Town, Dr. Nester NDayimirije said as of April 9, 2014, 157 Ebola cases, including 101 deaths had been reported in neighboring Guinea and 12 Ebola deaths in Liberia, while suspected cases had been reported from Sierra Leone.
In his comment at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the World Health Organization or WHO’s Country Director to Liberia said the deadly Ebola virus has affected three regional countries, namely Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
He said Ebola is well known in the region, recalling that since the first epidemic of Ebola was reported in 1976 in DR Congo, the virus has been occurring in many countries, including Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Uganda and Ivory Coast in 1994.
But Dr. NDayimirije stressed that Ebola can be prevented, suggesting that the major problem with it is to fight fear and panic. He, however, emphasized that people should stay away from Ebola patients, and to avoid eating meat from dead animals such as bats, chimpanzee and gorillas, among others.
Notwithstanding, President Sirleaf says the responses the Liberian Government receives from its partners, including the World Health Organization, Medicine Sans Frontiers or MSF, the United States and others have made such a big difference here.
The Liberian leader noted that steps have been taken to contain the disease, and applauded Liberia’s Health and Social Welfare Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale and his team for their work since the outbreak in Liberia. She said Dr. Gwenigale had been in touch with her and kept the nation abreast, while responding to suspected cases.
The President said she purposely visited the Health Ministry yesterday to appreciate the fact that “the disease is not spreading the way I understand it,” giving credit to the health workers because she said all of them have been so timely.