UN Envoy Says Ebola Fight Is a ‘War’

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David Banarro says cancellation of flights to countries with Ebola crisis is hampering efforts.

A United Nation’s envoy appointed to coordinate the global response to the Ebola crisis said Monday that the fight against the epidemic was a “war” which could take another six months, and warned that airlines boycotting the region were hampering the response.

David Nabarro, a British physician that the United Nations has appointed to coordinate the global response to the crisis, was in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown for the fifth day of a tour of the region.

“The effort to defeat Ebola is not a battle but a war which requires everybody working together, hard and effectively,” he told a news conference.

“I hope it will be done in six months but we have to do it until it is completed.”

“A Whole Lot Harder”

Nabarro said airlines halting flights to and from the countries that have been afflicted by the outbreak in West Africa were making the UN’s efforts “a whole lot harder”.

“By isolating the country, it makes it difficult for the UN to do its work,” he said.

Instead, he issued a “really strong request to everyone to help us find a way to continue having airlines fly into these capitals so that we can do our job properly”.

“Help us to know how we can do this and at the same time assure you that you are not exposed to risk,” he added.

UN officials have pledged to step up efforts against the lethal tropical virus, which has infected more than 2,600 and killed 1,427 in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria this year.