MONROVIA, Libera – Authorities in Liberia are preparing Thursday to discharge the last Ebola patient in the West African country.
The head of the Incidence Management System, Tolbert Nyenswah, said the recovered patient will be released from a Chinese-built Ebola treatment unit in Monrovia, the capital. There were no other confirmed cases of Ebola in the country and as such, Liberia can then begin to count up to 42 days to be declared Ebola free in keeping with World Health Organization protocols and standards, Nyenswah said Wednesday.
He challenged all Liberians to commit themselves to achieving "zero Ebola infections" by rigidly abiding by the anti-Ebola regulations. Liberia, which has had the highest number of deaths, has also reopened schools.
After causing nearly 10,000 recorded deaths since the outbreak was discovered a year ago, Ebola is also waning in Guinea. U.N. experts said Monday that the spread of the disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has dropped to almost 10 percent of what it was in September. But new cases continue to emerge in Sierra Leone. Nine new cases were reported in a 24-hour period, according to an update from the Sierra Leone government on Tuesday.
Ebola has cost the three countries an estimated 12 percent of their gross domestic product, shifted resources causing other health care problems, and hurt business as people became scared to leave their homes or go to markets.