China is going to open an Ebola treatment center in Liberia in a month’s time to help fight the deadly outbreak, the head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Africa Department said.
“As part of China’s fourth aid package to West African countries in their fight against the Ebola pandemic, a 100-bed treatment center is to be built in Liberia. It is expected to admit the first patients within 30 days,” said Lin Songtian, director-general at the African Affairs Department.
A total of 480 health workers are to travel to Liberia, one of the three hardest-hit West African countries, to help roll back the deadly viral outbreak. They will set out in three groups of 160 people each, with the first team due to leave for Liberia in two weeks, Lin Songtian said. He added that all necessary materials and equipment had already been shipped to the country and construction works are well underway.
Since the start of the outbreak, China has sent three batches of humanitarian aid worth some $50 million to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. There are currently about 200 Chinese medical workers in the region, and their number is expected to swell to 700.
On October 24, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced he was going to disburse another $500-million worth of aid to the three African nations fighting to curb the pandemic, including 60 ambulances, 100 motorbikes, 150,000 items of personal protection equipment, as well as beds and trucks.
More than 4,900 people have died in West Africa from the current Ebola outbreak that started in Guinea at the end of 2013, according to recent World Health Organization (WHO) estimates. WHO also estimates that there have been 13,703 cases of Ebola in the region.