17 August 2014

Liberia: Patients Missing After Raid On Liberia Ebola Clinic

Photo: FrontPageAfrica
Suspected Ebola patients waiting inside ELWA fence for medical attention in Monrovia, Liberia.

Authorities in Liberia's capital city, Monrovia, have warned of the spread of Ebola after a local clinic was ransacked. The patients quarantined there left the site and their whereabouts remain unknown.

Police in Liberia's capital city had restored order by Sunday afternoon following a raid on a local Ebola clinic. However, they warned that local residents now faced a higher risk of exposure to the deadly virus, as the perpetrators had not only stolen infected items, but had also prompted patients to flee.

"They broke down the door and looted the place. The patients have all gone," Rebecca Wesseh, a witness to the incident, told the news agency AFP.

A police official speaking to the Associated Press news agency also described the incident, which took place on Saturday evening, as a "looting spree."

The circumstances surrounding the break in in the district of West Point remained unclear on Sunday. Witness accounts reported by news agencies suggested that a group of armed young men had attacked the quarantine center, claiming that Ebola was a fiction.

According to the Associated Press, the group stole a number of items that had visible signs of contamination, such as blood stains and excrement.

AFP reported that 17 patients had fled the scene after the raid on Saturday night.

The current outbreak of Ebola has become an international health emergency. In the six months since the first diagnosis of the current outbreak, about 1,145 people have died across Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Officials in Kenya have announced a travel ban on incoming passengers from the West Africa countries hit by the epidemic.

kms/mkg (AP, AFP, dpa)

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