US troops will be ending its Ebola relief mission in West Africa, with the last American troops scheduled to leave Liberia by April 30.
President Barrack Obama said all but 100 of the US troops currently stationed in Liberia to fight the spread of Ebola will pull out by the end of April. There were 2,800 US troops in West Africa at the height of the epidemic.
The president’s decision effectively signals the end of the five-month military mission to help contain the spread of the deadly virus in West Africa.
President Obama, speaking at the White House, said the announcement represented the transition into the next phase of the fight.
He said that as the military contingent in Liberia was reduced, his government was “expanding our civilian response.”
The president said around 10,000 civilian responders would stay in West Africa to fight the virus.
“Every case is an ember that, if not contained, can light a new fire. So we’re shifting our focus from fighting the epidemic to now extinguishing it,” he noted.
Around 1,500 US soldiers have already returned from Liberia with each of them being forced to undergo a 21-day quarantine period in order to minimize the risk of contagion.
According to the White House, U.S. efforts resulted in the construction of 10 Ebola treatment units. Those units will be handed over to aid groups, international organizations or government contractors.
The World Health Organization, WHO, says Sierra Leone has registered 76 of the 144 new cases, Guinea 65 and Liberia 3.Follow Us on Social Media