A total of 1,229 people have now died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.
“Between 14 and 16 August 2014, a total of 113 new cases of Ebola virus disease (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 84 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia*, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone,” the United Nations agency wrote on its website.
But it said its response as well as those of other partners to the viral disease outbreak is “continuing to grow” in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
“To reduce the likelihood that those who are infected will carry the disease outside their communities, the governments have set up quarantine zones in areas of high transmission, including severely-affected cities such as Gueckedou in Guinea, Kenema and Kailahun in Sierra Leone and Foya in Liberia,” it said.
“This prevents people living in these areas from moving to other parts of the country and potentially increasing EVD transmission. However, it also means that barriers to travel limit their access to food and other necessities.
“While preventing further transmission of EVD is crucial, it is essential that people in those zones have access to food, water, good sanitation and other basic supplies.”
WHO said it would continue working with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure that people in the quarantine zones receive regular food aid and other non-medical supplies.
“WFP is now scaling up its programme to distribute food to the around 1 million people living in the quarantine zones in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“Food has been delivered to hospitalised patients and people under quarantine who are not able to leave their homes to purchase food. Providing regular food supplies is a potent means of limiting unnecessary movement.”
Although a number of countries have imposed air travel bans on Ebola-stricken countries, WHO said it would “not recommend any travel or trade restrictions except in cases where individuals have been confirmed or are suspected of being infected with EVD or where individuals have had contact with cases of EVD.”
Of the 1,229 deaths confirmed by WHO, four occurred on Nigerian soil, while three people are still in isolation.
Five Nigerian Ebola patients have been discharged and 61 persons under surveillance have been released after completing 21 days without showing signs of carrying the deadly virus.