Ebola a global threat, need to act fast: Obama
Terming Ebola as a global threat, US President Barack Obama has called upon the international community to "act fast" to stop the spread of the deadly virus which has claimed more than 2,400 lives and infected some 5,000 mostly in Africa.
Washington: Terming Ebola as a global threat, US President Barack Obama has called upon the international community to "act fast" to stop the spread of the deadly virus which has claimed more than 2,400 lives and infected some 5,000 mostly in Africa.
"This is a daunting task. The world knows how to fight this disease. It's not a mystery. We know the science. We know how to prevent it from spreading. We know how to care for those who contract it. We know that if we take the proper steps, we can save lives. But we have to act fast," Obama said.
"We can't dawdle on this one. We have to move with force and make sure that we are catching this as best we can, given that it has already broken out in ways that we had not seen before," he said.
"This is a global threat, and it demands a truly global response. International organisations just have to move faster than they have up until this point. More nations need to contribute experienced personnel, supplies, and funding that's needed, and they need to deliver on what they pledge quickly," he said.
The US President announced to establish a military command center in Liberia, at the request of its government, to support civilian efforts across the region.
"Our forces are going to bring their expertise in command and control, in logistics, in engineering. And our Department of Defense is better at that, our Armed Services are better at that than any organisation on Earth," he said.
He said the US will create an air bridge to get health workers and medical supplies into West Africa faster, create a new training site to train thousands of health workers so they can effectively and safely care for more patients and build additional treatment units, including new isolation spaces.
"And in all our efforts, the safety of our personnel will remain a top priority. Meanwhile, our scientists continue their urgent research in the hope of finding new treatments and perhaps vaccines. And today I'm calling on Congress to approve the funding that we've requested so that we can carry on with all these critical efforts," he said.
Obama will join UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to continue mobilising the international community around this effort next week.
"At the White House, we're going to bring more nations together to strengthen our global health security so that we can better prevent, detect and respond to future outbreaks before they become epidemics," he said.
"This is actually something that we had announced several months ago at the G7 meeting. We determined that this has to be a top priority; this was before the Ebola outbreak," he said.
And sadly, we now see that our predictions were correct, he said.