[QODLink]
Africa

Ebola patients flee as Liberia clinic looted

Seventeen sufferers missing after gang attacks Monrovia quarantine centre and reportedly takes contaminated material.

Last updated: 18 Aug 2014 06:56
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Ebola has killed 413 people in Liberia [EPA]

An Ebola quarantine centre in Liberia has been looted by a gang who reportedly took bloodstained sheets and forced 17 patients to flee, raising the chances of the virus spreading.

The attack happened at a unit in the West Point area of Monrovia late on Saturday. Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack, told the AFP news agency on Sunday that the gang were mostly young men armed with clubs.

Wesseh said she heard the attackers shouting anti-government slogans and insisting there was "no Ebola" in Liberia. "They broke down the door and looted the place. The patients have all gone," she said.

They broke down the door and looted the place. The patients have all gone.

Rebecca Wesseh, witness.

The head of Health Workers Association of Liberia, George Williams, said the unit had housed 29 patients who were receiving preliminary treatment before being taken to hospital. 

"Of the 29 patients, 17 fled last night. Nine died four days ago and three others were taken by force by their relatives," he said. "They had all tested positive for Ebola."

The AP news agency quoted the assistant health minister, Tolbert Nyenswah, as saying residents of West Point were angry that patients had been brought from other parts of the capital to the centre.

The agency reported that bloodstained sheets and mattresses were taken. Ebola is transmitted by bodily fluids.

Liberian police restored order to West Point, a slum area home to up to 100,000 poor Liberians, officials told AP.

The Ebola outbreak has already killed 1,145 people in five months in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Liberia has the worst toll, with 413 people dead.

286

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.