US President Barack Obama called on the world Tuesday to «act fast» to stop the Ebola epidemic in West Africa before «hundreds of miles» are infected.
The epidemic began in Guinea from where it spread to the neighboring nations of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The disease has so far killed 2,461 people this year, half as many, the World Health Organization reported.
During a visit on Tuesday to the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English) in Atlanta, Obama urged a comprehensive effort to fight the virus, while giving to know that his country received 3,000 military personnel in West Africa.
Military personnel are expected to help build new facilities and train health workers in the area, where «the disease is spreading out of control.»
According to him, this will be the largest international response in the CDC’s history.
Obama concluded by noting that this is an unprecedented epidemic that threatens global security, although the possibility of it reaching the United States is «extremely low.»
The measures Obama announced Tuesday also include the construction of 17 hospital facilities, each with 100 beds and isolation spaces in Liberia.
The training of 500 health workers per week and the installation of an airlift to bring supplies to the affected countries more quickly are also being considered.
And medical care kits are expected to be sent hundreds of miles from homes, including 50,000 to be sent to Liberia by the US agency.
role of soldiers
Obama called on other countries to increase their support for the Ebola crisis, as a worsening of the epidemic would lead to «deep political, economic and security implications for all of us.»
There is «a potential threat to global security if these countries enter into crisis,» added the US president.
Hours earlier, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said US troops sent to Africa will not provide direct care to Ebola patients.
Some soldiers would be based in Senegal, while others would provide logistical, training and engineering support in parts of Liberia.