MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – The United Kingdom is sending 750 military personnel to Sierra Leone to help build an Ebola treatment center and a training facility for healthcare workers, BBC reported Wednesday.
"We all have to do more if we are going to prevent what is currently a crisis from becoming a catastrophe," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said as quoted by BBC, confirming that the United Kingdom will send the RFA Argus medical ship and three Merlin helicopters to Sierra Leone.
The RFA Argus will serve as a casualty receiving ship, while the helicopters will be based off the coast and will help move UK forces, according to BBC.
The announcement came after a Wednesday meeting of the UK government's Cobra emergency response committee chaired by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
Earlier, it was reported that 40 British military engineers had already travelled to Sierra Leone to make sure that medical facilities can be set up in the country.
The Ebola epidemic currently taking place in West Africa broke out in southern Guinea in February, and later spread across Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the death toll from the epidemic has surpassed 3,400.
Health care workers are at a highest risk of contracting Ebola, which is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. Though there is no officially approved medication for the disease, several countries, including United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, Canada and Japan are currently working on developing Ebola vaccines.