Efforts to combat the rapid spread of the dangerous Ebola virus hit a major roadblock today when a group of armed gunmen forcibly entered a facility in Liberia which was treating 29 potentially infected Ebola patients. According to Opposing Views, the incident happened at an isolation unit set up in the city of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. The attackers armed with guns and clubs raided the quarantine center and forced as many as 29 people out of the unit. The armed men reportedly shouted “there is no Ebola” during the time of the armed raid, reports CNN.
Nurses and medical professionals who were watching over the patients fled the facility as soon as it came under attack. According to Rebecca Wesseh, a witness to the attack;
“They broke down the doors and looted the place. The patients all fled.”
She also claimed that the gunmen shouted slogans against Ellen Johnson, the President of Liberia. The men shouted that the President “is broke” and “She wants money. There’s no Ebola.”
The confirmation of the attack also came from other residents of Monrovia and from George Williams, the head of Health Workers Association of Liberia. Williams added that all the 29 people housed inside the isolation facility had tested positive for Ebola. They had only started receiving preliminary treatment for the disease when the gunmen struck. He adds that it is still not clear as to how many infected Ebola patients are now at large. Nine people had already died at the facility due to the disease, Williams added.
The attack on the Ebola isolation facility in Liberia comes just one day after hundreds of residents attacked a burial team who had arrived to collect bodies of Ebola patients for proper burial. Many Liberians have been made to believe that the Ebola virus is a hoax. Some others have been made to believe that foreigners are responsible for all the Ebola outbreaks that were reported from Liberia. A Liberian Church had claimed that the Ebola virus was sent by god to punish homosexuals.
The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the worst ever in the history of the disease and according to figures from the World Health Organization, as many as 1145 people have died so far. It is expected that it would take at least six months for medical professionals to bring the epidemic under control. The countries worst affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak are Guinea, Liberia. Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
[Image Via Al Jazeera]