Via ReliefWeb, an AFP report: West Africa seals off Ebola outbreak epicentre. Excerpt:
West Africa's Ebola-hit nations announced a cross-border isolation zone on Friday, sealing off the epicentre of the world's worst-ever outbreak as health chiefs warned the epidemic was spiralling out of control.
The announcement came at an emergency summit in the Guinean capital to discuss the outbreak, which has killed more than 700 people, with the World Health Organization warning Ebola could cause "catastrophic" loss of life and severe economic disruption if it continued to spread.
"We have agreed to take important and extraordinary actions at the inter-country level to focus on cross-border regions that have more than 70 percent of the epidemic," said Hadja Saran Darab, the secretary-general of the Mano River Union bloc grouping the nations.
"These areas will be isolated by police and military. The people in these areas being isolated will be provided with material support," she said at the meeting in Conakry.
The leaders of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea used the summit to launch a $100 million (75 million euro) action plan which will see several hundred more medical staff deployed to battle the epidemic.
The three countries will also bolster efforts to prevent and detect suspected cases, urge better border surveillance, and reinforce the WHO's sub-regional outbreak coordination centre in Guinea.
Darab did not outline the exact area to be part of the isolation zone, but the epicentre of the outbreak has a diameter of almost 300 kilometres (185 miles), spreading from Kenema in eastern Sierra Leone to Macenta in southern Guinea, and taking in most of Liberia's extreme northern forests.
"The healthcare services in these zones will be strengthened for treatment, testing and contact tracing to be carried out effectively," she said.