The Malian government and United Nations have declared the country free of Ebola on Sunday, after 42 days without any new cases of the deadly virus. “I declare on this day, Jan. 18, 2015, the end of the Ebola epidemic in Mali,” Ousmane Koné said in a statement in which he thanked the country’s health workers and international partners for their work to halt the outbreak.
This is in accordance with WHO recommendations, which says that the spread of Ebola virus could be declared over after 42 days without any new case being recorded. The last patient who was infected with Ebola in Mali, made a full recovery and was discharged early December.
This news comes at a time, when the UN special convoy on Ebola said on Thursday, that that the outbreak of Ebola appears to be slowing down, though the battle to contain the disease is not over. He was also unwilling to predict a date, by which it will be definitely over. “The change in behavior that we’ve been hoping for, working for, anticipating, is now happening everywhere,” Dr. David Nabarro told Reuters in an interview. “The facilities to treat people are available everywhere,” he said. “Safe burial teams are providing safe and dignified burial services everywhere and the result is that we’re seeing the beginnings of the outbreak slowing down.” He also added that the U.S., British and French military played a crucial role by building treatment centers. The Government of Liberia said earlier on Thursday that it had only 10 confirmed cases of Ebola as on Jan 12th and it may be Ebola-free by end of next month, due to its success in curbing transmission. “It’s an incredible drop,” Nabarro said, adding that he believed the Liberian figures were “absolutely correct.” Liberia was amongst the worst affected with more than 3,500 deaths due to the epidemic.
Till now, a total of 21,373 people have been infected with Ebola since the worst-ever outbreak began in Dec 2013, of which 8,468 have died according to the latest figures from WHO as on 16th January, 2015.
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