The comments, made to France 24's English news channel late on
Wednesday, follow forecasts from the World Health Organization that
20,000 people could be infected with Ebola by early November. The
U.S. Centers for Disease Control has warned of hundreds of thousands
of cases if swift action is not taken.
"We are beginning to see a stabilization … even in Monrovia which
has been hit the hardest," Johnson Sirleaf said, referring to
Liberia's capital city.
The worst Ebola outbreak on record was first confirmed in Guinea in
March but it has since spread across most of Liberia and Sierra
Leone, killing more than 3,300 people, overwhelming weak health
systems and crippling fragile economies.
Liberia has recorded the most deaths - nearly 2,000 - and aid
agencies say they still need hundreds of beds for Ebola patients in
the capital. The lack of beds means Ebola patients are being turned
away and sent back to their communities, further spreading the
However, Johnson Sirleaf rejected the negative warnings.
"I am waiting for the next projections and I hope they will admit
that they’ve just been simply wrong, that all of our countries are
getting this thing under control," she said.
In its latest update on the outbreak on Wednesday, the WHO said
transmission "remains persistent and widespread in Guinea, Liberia
and Sierra Leone, with strong evidence of increasing case incidence
in several districts".
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WHO said that although the spread of the disease appears to have
stabilized in Guinea, "it must be emphasized that in the context of
an outbreak of EVD (Ebola virus disease), a stable pattern of
transmission is still of grave concern, and could change quickly".
Months into the outbreak, a spike in cases in recent weeks has
sparked a flurry of warnings that the disease was out of control and
pledges by foreign governments to send military and civilian teams
to help West Africa tackle the crisis.
The U.S. government confirmed this week the first case of Ebola
identified outside West Africa, highlighting the potential for the
disease to spread despite checks put in place at airports and travel
restrictions put in place by some nations.
(Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Louise Ireland)
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