Death rate in Ebola outbreak has risen to 70 percent: WHO
The death rate in the Ebola outbreak has risen to 70 percent, said WHO.
Geneva: The death rate in the Ebola outbreak has risen to 70 percent and there could be up to 10,000 new cases a week in two months, the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday.
WHO assistant director-general Dr Bruce Aylward gave the grim figures during a news conference in Geneva. Previously, WHO had estimated the death rate at around 50 percent.
Aylward said the 70 percent death rate was "a high mortality disease" in any circumstance and that the UN health agency was still focused on trying to get sick people isolated and provide treatment as early as possible.
He told reporters that if the world's response to the Ebola crisis isn't stepped up within 60 days, "a lot more people will die" and there will be a huge need to deal with the spiraling numbers of cases.
For the last four weeks, there's been about 1,000 new cases per week — including suspected, confirmed and probable cases, he said, adding that the UN health agency is aiming to get 70 percent of cases isolated within two months to reverse the outbreak.
WHO increased its Ebola death toll tally to 4,447 people on Tuesday, nearly all of them in West Africa, from 8,914 cases.
Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have been hardest hit nations in the current outbreak. Aylward said WHO was very concerned about the continued spread of Ebola in the three countries' capital cities —Freetown, Conakry and Monrovia.
He said the agency was still focused on trying to treat Ebola patients, despite the huge demands on the broken health systems in West Africa.
"It would be horrifically unethical to say that we're just going to isolate people," he said, noting that new strategies like handing out protective equipment to families and setting up very basic clinics — without much treatment — was a priority.
In Berlin, a UN medical worker infected with Ebola in Liberia died despite "intensive medical procedures." The St Georg hospital in Leipzig said Tuesday that the 56-year-old man, whose name has not been released, died overnight of the infection.
The man tested positive for Ebola on 6 October, prompting Liberia's U.N. peacekeeping mission to place 41 other staff members under "close medical observation."
He arrived in Leipzig for treatment on 9 October. The hospital's chief executive, Dr Iris Minde, said at the time there was no risk of infection for other people, since he was kept in a secure isolation ward specially equipped with negative pressure rooms that are hermetically sealed.
He was the third Ebola patient to be flown to Germany for treatment. The first man recovered and returned home to Senegal. A Uganda aid worker is still being treated in Frankfurt.
Narendra Modi at UN: India working towards restoring 2.6 crore hectares of degraded land by 2030, says PM
Land degradation affects over two-thirds of the world today and if left unchecked, it will erode the very foundations of our societies, economies, food security, health, safety and quality of life, said Modi
WHO, World Bank, IMF, and WTO blamed gaps in vaccination programs for the emergence of virus variants that fuelled fresh outbreaks in developing countries.
An uneven economic recovery is expected to begin in the second half of 2021, driven by progress in vaccinations and large-scale fiscal spending, said the world body