01:20 GMT29 May 2020
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    Burial workers in the Sierra Leone city of Kenema have stopped burying Ebola victims in protest for not being paid for the risk they are taking in handling the bodies.

    MOSCOW, November 25 (Sputnik) — The workers, who are on strike after not being paid for handling bodies of Ebola victims, left 15 bodies abandoned at the city's main hospital. One of the bodies was reportedly left by the hospital manager's office and two others by the hospital entrance, reports BBC.

    Sierra Leone has been devastated by this year's Ebola outbreak, with more than 1,200 deaths. Kenema is the third largest city in Sierra Leone and the biggest in the east, where the Ebola outbreak first appeared in the country.

    The workers told a BBC reporter they had not been paid agreed upon extra risk allowances for October and November. According to Umaru Fofana in Freetown, “the bodies have now been taken away but the workers remain on strike,” reports BBC.

    Sierra Leone health ministry nor the hospital management has made any comment so far. The burial workers' industrial action comes two weeks after health workers went on strike for similar reasons at a clinic near Bo, the only facility in southern Sierra Leone treating Ebola victims.

    Anthony Banbury, head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, said earlier that the areas of greatest concern are in the rural parts of Sierra Leone as well as the city of Makeni in the centre of the country, Port Loko in the northwest and the capital of Freetown, reported Reuters.

    The UN's new goal is to get 70 per cent of new cases in treatment and 70 per cent of burials carried out safely, he said.

    Ebola has killed more than 5,000 people in West Africa this year, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.


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    strike, protests, Ebola virus disease (EVD), United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO), Sierra Leone
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