Int'l efforts to fight Ebola like straws in the face of an impending storm-paper


DUBAI, 3rd October 2014 (WAM) — The international efforts to fight the Ebola outbreak, at present, unfortunately seem to be like straws in the face of an impending storm and West Africa deserves more than simply being expected to clutch at a few straws, a U.A.E. newspaper opined Friday in an editorial comment as the first-ever case of Ebola virus was confirmed in the U.S. setting the alarm bells ringing.

"Predictions of an Ebola epidemic have been sending a chill into the international bloodstream for some months now and this incident in the US makes the fear seem less imaginary. Last week, the UN General Assembly conducted a sombre session on the threat of Ebola and of the international community’s need to step up its efforts to tackle it. Beyond the dire warnings and exhortations however, there seems to be little action on the ground by the international community to stamp out Ebola," said the English language newspaper The Gulf News.

So far, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s estimates, more than 3,000 people have died of Ebola in the affected West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria and more than 6,500 have contracted the disease.

Noting that the discovery of a US citizen who had flown into Texas from Liberia and has been diagnosed with Ebola has set the alarm bells ringing, the paper said, "is this the first sign of this unstoppable force finally having crossed the border?"

Calling these as the urgent realities that need to be addressed by the world, the paper noted that though the US and UK have pitched in with personnel and the WHO has set up an Ebola Fund, the scale of the problem requires more planning and implementation.

"The long-term plans of countries to detect, diagnose and respond to diseases and epidemics early, as outlined by US President Barack Obama at the UN meeting, is all very well but right now, does the world have a better plan for Ebola?", added the Gulf News.