WASHINGTON, November 12 (RIA Novosti) — The US military presence supporting Liberia’s Ebola response will get to its peak in mid-December at 3,000 personnel, instead of the 4,000 originally anticipated by the Pentagon, Commanding General of the US Ebola response in Liberia said Wednesday.
“What we found working with USAID and the government of Liberia, there was a lot of capacity here [in Liberia] that we didn’t know about before and so that enabled us to reduce our forces that we thought we originally had to bring,” Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky said while speaking at a press conference.
The US military currently has 2,200 personnel in Liberia to support other US agencies and the government of Liberia in bolstering the response to the Ebola epidemic. Volesky said the US mission was heavy on military engineers and medical specialists, as well as supporting personnel to sustain medical units.
Despite the number of new Ebola cases reported in Liberia slowing down, US Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac, said there is still a “long way to go in this fight” during the press conference.
According to US officials, all 17 Ebola treatment centers the United States is building in Liberia, as well as nine mobile centers, will be fully functioning by December.
Based on the World Health Organization’s latest records, there have been 6,822 confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola infections in Liberia so far, among them 2,836 have died. In total, over 14,000 Ebola-related cases have been reported with more than 5,000 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Spain and the United States.