President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, said that his small west African nation is 'still at war' against Ebola. The World Health Organization's (WHO) latest update reveals that the total number of Ebola cases is 21,759 with a death toll of 8,688. The latest data from the affected nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are more reassuring, with the frequency of new cases on the decline.
In Guinea, there were only 20 new confirmed cases last week against 45 the week before. But, the President said that this was no reason for complacency. Conde said, "It's precisely because things are getting better that we have to stay vigilant in order to get to zero cases. Our priority is to end Ebola, because everything stems from there."
The first thing on the president's mind was the Guinean economy, which has been ravaged by the effects of the Ebola epidemic. He said, "We have to see how to compensate for the damage that Ebola has inflicted on our economy and our finances. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should forgive the poor country's debt." This call has been backed by the United States, IMF's largest shareholder, which has urged the crisis lender to wipe out around a fifth of the $480 million ($557 million) owed it by the three Ebola-hit African nations.
Conde added, "The consequences are extremely serious for our economy, business executives no longer come to our country. To close mining deals, talks had to take place by video conference and schools only opened last Monday." The WHO also believes that it is too early to give up the fight against Ebola, warning that the situation was still 'extremely alarming' despite the significant fall in new cases.