Liberia on heightened alert after Guinea Ebola deaths

Guinea's Health Minister Remy Lamah told AFP on Saturday that four people had died of Ebola, the first deaths since a 2013-2016 epidemic -- which began in Guinea.

FILE: In this file photo taken on 12 December 2018 a member of the medical staff of the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) puts on her Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during a weekly rehearsal at the Bwera General Hospital in Bwera bordering with DRC, western Uganda. Picture: AFP

MONROVIA – Liberian President George Weah on Sunday put the country's health authorities on heightened alert after four people died of Ebola in neighbouring Guinea, the first resurgence of the disease in five years.

Weah "has mandated the Liberian health authorities and related stakeholders in the sector to heighten the country's surveillance and preventative activities in the wake of reports of the emergence of the deadly Ebola virus disease in neighbouring Guinea," his office said in a statement.

Guinea's Health Minister Remy Lamah told AFP on Saturday that four people had died of Ebola, the first deaths since a 2013-2016 epidemic -- which began in Guinea -- killed 11,300 people across the region.

According to Weah's statement on Sunday, the new deaths occurred in Guinean town of Gouecke close to Liberia's northeastern border.

"However, no case of the disease has so far been detected in" Liberia, it insisted.

"The president's instruction is intended to ensure Liberia acts proactively to avoid any epidemic situation, the kind Liberia witnessed in 2014."

Weah also instructed the health authorities "to immediately engage communities in towns and villages bordering Guinea and increase anti-Ebola measures," the statement continued.

"While the health authorities are urged to increase their alert level, the general public is assured that there is no case of Ebola in Liberia and that the government is undertaking all measures to ensure that the public remains safe from the deadly virus."

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