WHO: 56 New Ebola Deaths Reported
The World Health Orgamisation (WHO) has reported 56 new deaths from Ebola, adding that there are 128 newly reported cases in the two days to August 11, raising the overall death toll in the virus’ world outbreak to 1,069.
Since March, there have been a total of 1,975 confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola cases in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the United Nations health agency said in a statement.
In Spain, Several hundred mourners joined a funeral service yesterday for Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, 75, who died from Ebola after being infected in Liberia.
He became the first European victim of this worst-ever outbreak of the virus.
A black hearse transported an urn containing missionary Miguel Pajares’s ashes to the chapel of the San Rafael hospital in Madrid, which was decorated with floral arrangements, including one sent by Spain’s royal family.
The priest’s remains were incinerated in a sealed coffin shortly after he died on Tuesday. No autopsy was conducted so as to reduce the risk of contagion.
Pajares had been in isolation at Madrid’s Carlos III hospital since landing in Spain on a military jet last Thursday and was treated with an experimental US serum, ZMapp.
The Spanish priest contracted Ebola at the Saint Joseph Hospital in the Liberia capital Monrovia, where he worked with infected patients.
Many in Spain consider him to be a hero and the crowd at the funeral services included ordinary Spaniards who did not know him along with government and religious officials.
“We are all human, we need each other, we give our lives for others,” said Ana Maria, a 67-year-old from Madrid who attended with her sister Irene Gonzalez-Arnau Campos, 63, who came from Spain’s Canary Islands for the funeral service.
Health Minister Ana Mato, who has been criticized for her absence from Madrid while Pajares was in hospital, offered her condolences to the family at the service and said the hospital room where Pajares died was being thoroughly disinfected.
“All protocols are being followed to the letter,” she told reporters.
A leading physician in Sierra Leone’s fight against Ebola has died from the disease, an official said Wednesday. He had been considered to receive an experimental drug but did not get it before he died.
Doctors considered giving ZMapp to Sheik Humarr Khan, the chief doctor treating Ebola in Sierra Leone who had come down with the dreaded disease, but eventually decided against it, officials at the World Health Organization said in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
WHO then tried to airlift Khan out of the country, but “his condition had deteriorated too much to be transported safely.”
Doses of ZMapp for two Liberian doctors were being expected in Liberia, according to Liberian Health Minister Walter Gwenigale. They would be the first Africans to receive the treatment.