Liberia plans huge increase in beds for Ebola patients to 1,000, as spike in infections forecast

Liberia plans huge increase in beds for Ebola patients to 1,000, as spike in infections forecast
Health workers wearing protective clothing prepare to carry an abandoned dead body presenting with Ebola symptoms at Duwala market in Monrovia August 17, 2014.

MONROVIA - Liberia announced plans on Sunday for a huge increase in beds for Ebola patients in its overwhelmed capital Monrovia, raising the number from around 250 to 1,000 by the end of October.

"Patients are being rejected... because there is no space. So the government is trying its best to finish the 1,000 beds so we can accommodate all the patients," Information Minister Lewis Brown told AFP. "That way, we will curtail the spread because those who are rejected go back to their communities where they can possibly infect other people," he said.

The move comes two weeks after the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned the country, worst-hit in the outbreak with more than 1,450 deaths, was about to see a huge spike in infections, with thousands of new cases imminent. In Montserrado county, which includes Monrovia, the agency said 1,000 beds were urgently needed to treat Ebola patients.

The announcement came ahead of the opening of a 150-bed unit, the largest government facility in the country, on Sunday in the western suburb of Duala.

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