African troops deployed to fight Ebola outbreak

Posted at 10:34 under a-noticias-ingles

Monrovia, Aug 4 (Prensa Latina) Hundreds of soldiers were deployed today in Liberia and Sierra Leone to fight the outbreak of Ebola virus, as the death toll climbed to 887 in West Africa.

Panic among local communities, which have attacked health workers and threatened to burn down isolation wards, prompted Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to impose tough measures last week, including the closure of schools and the quarantine of the remote forest region hardest hit by the disease.

Since its detection last March, the outbreak has put a lot of pressure on Africa’s poorly financed healthcare systems.

Long convoys of military trucks ferried troops and medical workers on Monday to Sierra Leone’s far east, where the density of cases is highest. Military spokesman Colonel Michael Samoura said the operation, code-named Octopus, involved around 750 military personnel.

Troops will gather in the southeastern town of Bo before traveling to isolated communities to implement quarantines, he added. Healthcare workers will be allowed to come and go freely, and the communities will be kept supplied with food.