We begin with a corporate boom from the Guardian:
US firms to be given special dispensation in bid to boost search for Ebola vaccine
- HHS secretary Sylvia Burwell announces step under Prep Act
- ‘Legitimate liability concerns must not hold back Ebola vaccine’
The US Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday offered liability protections to drugmakers rushing to develop Ebola vaccines and urged other countries to follow suit.
The health and human services (HHS) secretary, Sylvia Burwell, made the announcement as part of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (Prep) Act in a move aimed at encouraging the development and availability of experimental Ebola vaccines.
The declaration provides immunity under US law against legal claims related to the manufacturing, testing, development, distribution and administration of three vaccines for the Ebola virus. However, it does not provide immunity for a claim brought in a court outside the United States.
BBC News strikes a discordant note:
British Ebola survivor calls Band Aid 30 ‘cringeworthy’
William Pooley, the British nurse who survived Ebola, has described the Band Aid 30 single as “cringeworthy” and “a bit much”.
He said he heard the first half of the song on his way into work in Sierra Leone where he is treating Ebola sufferers at an isolation unit. Mr Pooley noted the track was “definitely being talked about here among my colleagues”.
“It’s Africa, not another planet,” Mr Pooley told the Radio Times magazine. “Stuff about Do They Know It’s Christmas? It’s just like, actually people live normal lives here and do normal things.
“That sort of cultural ignorance is a bit cringeworthy. There’s a lyric about ‘death in every tear,’ it’s just a bit much.”
And if you haven’t heard it, here’s the song:
Band Aid 30 – Do They Know It’s Christmas? (2014)
Band Aid 30 – ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’
Buy the song. Stop the virus. #BandAid30
Download now on iTunes – http://po.st/DoTheyKnow
Google Play – http://po.st/DoTheyKnowGp
Please donate: http://www.bandaid30.com/donate
Text AID to 70060 to give £5
(UK only, texts cost £5 + standard rate. See T&C’s at www.bandaid30.com)
The physical CD single is available to pre-order here: http://po.st/CDsingle
Or you can pre-order it on Amazon here: http://po.st/DoTheyKnowAm
From the Associated Press, too damn late:
UN: Enough Ebola beds will be operating by Jan. 31
The United Nations’ Ebola chief says enough treatment facilities will be operating in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea by the end of January to ensure that the number of new cases starts dropping in the three worst-affected countries.
Dr. David Nabarro told the Council on Foreign Relations by videoconference from Geneva on Tuesday that there are going to be challenges to control the escalating outbreak in Sierra Leone, which has now recorded the highest number of cases, by Jan. 31.
Sierra Leone said last Friday that between 80 and 100 new cases of Ebola are being reported every day and the country desperately needs more than 1,000 beds to treat victims.
While infection rates in Liberia and Guinea are stabilizing, Nabarro said Ebola can “reinflame” unless it is wiped out completely.
From the Associated Press, another delay:
Training delays Cuban doctors from fighting Ebola
The Cuban doctors were all fired up and raring to get to work: Fidel Castro had praised their commitment and urged them to work even with American troops who might otherwise be considered the enemy, and President Raul Castro came to the airport to wish them well in their mission to fight Ebola in West Africa.
That was more than two months ago.
In Guinea, where the current outbreak started, 37 Cuban doctors, nurses and epidemiologists hang around a hotel pool, holding daily meetings to bolster their morale, crowding around a computer to learn more about the theory of Ebola treatment, and even trying on their protective suits and masks.
“We really thought we would arrive one day and get to work the next, but the reality is different,” Cuban team leader Dr. Carlos Castro told The Associated Press in Conakry, the capital.
More volunteers sought, via StarAfrica:
Namibia encourages volunteers to Ebola-hit W/Africa
The Namibian Health and Social Services Ministry has called on health professionals who might be willing to volunteer to participate in the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
The call is in response to the appeal by the African Union (AU) for member states to provide qualified health personnel to assist in combating the Ebola outbreak, which the union said has worsened over the lack of human resources in the affected countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The Health and social Services Ministry is coordinating the recruitment on behalf of the AU.
Clenny Murorua, epidemiologists in the Ministry of Health told the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) late on Monday that the much needed personnel are field epidemiologists, physicians, nurses and laboratory technicians.
The latest hot zone from CBC News:
Ebola ‘flaming strongly’ in western Sierra Leone, Guinea’s forests, WHO says
- Liberia’s president says disease has retreated into places that are hard to reach
Ebola continues to spread in two “troublesome areas” in Sierra Leone and Guinea’s interior, a senior UN official says.
The outbreak is “still flaming strongly” in western Sierra Leone and some parts of the forested interior of Guinea, the UN’s special envoy for Ebola, David Nabarro, told a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday.
“There are two particularly troublesome areas,” with high levels of transmission, Nabarro said.
The increase in transmission in western Sierra Leone reflects how communities there haven’t yet fully acted to avoid infection themselves. There’s also a lack of fully staffed treatment centres and places to keep those who are sick away from others, he said.
On to Liberia with the United Nations Development Program:
Community volunteers in Liberia are limiting the spread of Ebola
The number of new cases of Ebola in Liberia is decreasing each day and community volunteers’ work has contributed substantially to this result.
UNDP Liberia has recruited 1,300 volunteers who are being paid $80 per month to go door to door, every day in their communities, to track down anyone who shows symptoms of the disease and get urgent medical help.
UNDP’s project Coordinator, Dr Masoka Fallah, said that it’s only by quickly identifying people who have been infected – as soon as they show symptoms – that the spread of the virus can be prevented.
“The people we’ve recruited to be Active Case Finders are already leaders in their community and are highly respected,” he said. “With Ebola, all schools were shut down. Private school teachers aren’t getting paid. We’ve brought in a large number of those teachers to help with Ebola prevention. They know everybody in the community and are listened to.”
Bokaryee Geeplay is an Active Case Finders in Popo Beach, part of New Kru Town on the outskirts of Monrovia and one of the most affected regions of Liberia. One of the first cases he identified was his own niece.
“It was during November. My niece was just six, and she got a fever and wasn’t feeling well. I saw the signs and called headquarters so they could arrange for her to get to the clinic. She struggled for two weeks but eventually she died,” he said.
FrontPageAfrica covers aid crime:
Police Seize Diverted WFP Ebola Food Items in Margibi County
Police in Margibi County have seized a DAF truck full with food items intended for citizens of Grand Bassa some of whom are quarantined and other survivors of Ebola but was diverted for sale on the market.
Even though Police officers conducting the investigation into the incident have refused to speak to the Press, highly-placed sources have hinted FrontPageAfrica that the DAF Truck loaded with two hundred (200) bags of rice, thirty (30) boxes of cooking oil and forty (40) bags of beans was under the supervision of the District Superintendent and Commissioner Samuel P. Karmanjay and Samuel Moore respectively.
Sources also told FPA that the items were intended for an area called Gbakpea Town in the District #1 (Teemor Chiefdom) in Grand Bassa County but were kept aside and later diverted by the two local officials of the government. One source indicated: “Mr. Karmanjay and Mr. Moore made arrangements with some businessmen from Monrovia to purchase the stolen Ebola Food items before the Commissioner and Superintendent
From the Liberian Observer, more anger over a presidential political play:
Executive Order #65 Recalls Memories of 1985 Rigged Elections
Samuel Doe Banned All People from the Streets the Day the Elections Results Were Announced
Robert Sirleaf, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s own natural born son, has filed a lawsuit against her, petitioning the Supreme Court of Liberia to rescind (cancel, repeal) Executive Order 65.
Executive Order #65, signed by the President last Wednesday, bans all concerted mass movements of people on the streets of Monrovia during the ensuing special elections, including in particular rallies, demonstrations and parades. These, according to Executive Order #65, are prohibited and for 30 days after the announcement of December 16 senatorial election results.
These restrictions on the civil liberties of the people, guaranteed them by Liberian Constitution, were, according to the President, “intended to strengthen the efforts of the government to contain the spread of the Ebola virus.” It is also designed to “protect the security of the state, maintain law and order and promote peace and stability in the country.”
More from FrontPageAfrica:
Justice Void: Ill-Advised Exec. Order Ripple Effects on EJS
With a lot of blame floating around as to how President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf came to her decision to impose her now controversial Executive Order No. 65, more details are emerging that Acting Justice Minister, Attorney General, Cllr. Benedict F. Sannoh was instrumental in convincing the president that the order was the right thing to do.
Mr. Sannoh who has been acting since the resignation of former minister Christiana Tah is a strong proponent of the president enforcing executive orders. The recent issuance of Executive order No. 65 by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordering a halt to rallies, has been criticized by prominent individuals, including the son of the Liberian president Robert Sirleaf; but the Acting Justice Minister insists that the order is to ensure that the spread of the deadly Ebola virus is minimized in Monrovia.
Several critics and legal observers have been pounding on the latest declaration terming it as trampling on the rights of people to free movement. The Executive Order No. 65 ordered all concerted mass movements of people on the streets of Monrovia during the ensuing special elections, including in particular rallies, demonstrations and parades prohibited and for 30 days after the announcement of election results.
Still more from Heritage:
14 Lawmakers, CDC condemn Executive Order 65
Fourteen Representatives of Montserrado have condemned the Executive Order No. 65 recently issued by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
On Thursday, December 4, 2014, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued an Executive Order No. 65, ordering all concerted mass movements of people on the streets of Monrovia during the ensuing special election, including in particular rallies, demonstrations and parades prohibited and for 30 days after the announcement of election results.
Executive Order #65, the government said is intended to strengthen the efforts of the Government of Liberia to contain the spread of Ebola, protect the security of the State, maintain law and order, and promote peace and stability in the country.
Among other things, the Executive Order No. 65 notes that the existing law requiring persons desiring to march or demonstrate to obtain prior permits from the Ministry of Justice has proven ineffective to address rallies, parades and concerted mass movements on the streets of Monrovia and its environs.
And on to Sierra Leone with Reuters:
British charity defends management of Ebola centre after criticism
British charity Save The Children on Monday defended its management of an Ebola treatment centre outside Freetown saying it had informed both the British government and Sierra Leone that it lacked frontline experience in running such facilities.
Sierra Leone’s government last week said most of the beds in the treatment centre were empty because the British handed the facility over to a charity that was not experienced enough to run it.
Save The Children was contracted by the British government to manage the 80-bed Kerry Town Ebola centre, built by the British military as part of international efforts to contain the worst outbreak of Ebola on record.
The centre opened on Nov. 5, but only around one-third of its beds are occupied despite Ebola spreading fast across Sierra Leone.