Latest Updates / Thousands Break Ebola Quarantine to Find Food in Sierra Leone

Ebola updates: Philippines to quarantine 112 soldiers returning from Ebola-hit Liberia; Asia must do more to help global Ebola fight, World Bank says; WHO says currently no Ebola cases in Mali; U.S. Ebola nurse, Maine settle quarantine suit.

AP

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Latest updates:

2:48 P.M. Thousands break Ebola quarantine to find food in Sierra Leone

A group of aid agencies says that thousands of people in Sierra Leone are being forced to violate Ebola quarantines to find food because deliveries are not reaching them.

In order to prevent the spread of Ebola, large swaths of the West African country have been sealed off and within those areas many people have been ordered to stay in their homes. The government, with help from the U.N.'s World Food Program, is tasked with delivering food and other services to those people.

But Jeanne Kamara of Christian Aid in Sierra Leone said Tuesday that there are many "nooks and crannies" in the country that are being missed. Her agency and others that belong to the Disasters Emergency Committee umbrella organization are trying to fill the gaps. (AP)

11:28 A.M. Philippines to quarantine 112 soldiers returning from peacekeeping mission in Liberia

More than 100 soldiers returning to the Philippines from a peacekeeping mission in Liberia, the country hardest hit by an Ebola epidemic in West Africa, will be quarantined on a secluded island, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

The 112-member peacekeeping contingent is due to arrive in Manila on November 11. The military initially planned to quarantine them at a military facility in the northern province of Tarlac.

But local officials opposed the plan, expressing concern about the safety of the residents.

"The chief of staff has decided to put [the peacekeeping forces] in a secluded place," said Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc. "That is an island paradise, but I could not disclose the exact location as of now."

The soldiers will stay on the island for 21 days as required by the Department of Health, he added. (DPA)

7:53 A.M. World Bank: Asia must do more to help global Ebola fight

Asian countries are not contributing enough to the global effort to fight Ebola, despite having a wealth of trained medical personnel who could help stop the spread of the deadly virus, World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said on Tuesday.

Thousands of healthcare workers are needed to help combat the most deadly outbreak of Ebola since records began in 1976. The virus has killed nearly 5,000 people, mainly in the West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

"Many countries in Asia who could help simply are not, especially when it comes to sending health workers," Kim told a news conference in Seoul.

"I call on leaders across Asia to send their trained health professional teams to the three West African countries."

South Korea has pledged to contribute $5.6 million dollars to combat the virus, and both Japan and China have sent equipment or medical staff to the Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa.

China has so far donated 750 million yuan ($123 million) to 13 African countries and international organisations to combat Ebola, according to the government. It has also sent hundreds of health workers.

But the overall response from Asia has lagged contributions from the United States, which has sent thousands of troops and pledged $1 billion, and other Western states. (Reuters)

7:17 P.M. WHO says currently no Ebola cases in Mali

Thirty-nine people who travelled on buses with a toddler who died from Ebola in Mali are still being sought for checks, although the country is believed to be free of the disease, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

A WHO spokeswoman said 108 contacts were being followed up, including 33 health workers, but epidemiologists believe those who have not been traced are at low risk, as they are unlikely to have had physical contact with the sick two-year-old.

The girl's five-year-old sister had a fever but was suffering from malaria, not Ebola, tests showed. Other family members are under observation in the same hospital and doing well, with no fever or other symptoms, the WHO said. (Reuters)

6:45 P.M. U.S. Ebola nurse, Maine settle quarantine suit

The state of Maine and a nurse who had treated victims of the Ebola virus in West Africa reached a settlement deal on Monday, allowing her to travel freely in public but requiring her to monitor her health closely and report any symptoms.

The settlement, filed in nurse Kaci Hickox's home town of Fort Kent, in northern Maine, where she returned after being briefly quarantined in New Jersey, keeps in effect through Nov. 10 the terms of an order issued by a Maine judge on Friday.

Hickox returned to the United States last month after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone and was quarantined in a tent outside a hospital in New Jersey for four days despite showing no symptoms. (Reuters)