Monrovia - The number of Ebola cases in Liberia is declining for the first time, though the outbreak is far from over, the aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Monday.
Unlike in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, where cases are increasing, MSF teams in Liberia are witnessing a decline for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic in March.
The group's 250-bed unit in Monrovia is currently treating about 50 patients. There were no patients in Foya, in the north, by 30 October and with no confirmed cases since then.
With financial support pouring in "isolation units in Monrovia and some other parts of the country now have adequate capacity," said Fasil Tezera, MSF's head of operations in Liberia.
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But the group warned that the number of cases could again rise, as it has in Guinea, following two significant dips in admissions to MSF facilities.
Rapid response teams should be deployed quickly to investigate hotspots wherever they occur, it said.
In Sierra Leone, Social Welfare Minister Alhaji Moijueh Kaikai said the government was drafting a proposal to place Ebola survivors to collect information and to provide psycho-social counselling at treatment centres.
It was safer for survivors to work at the centres because they have developed immunity against the disease, the minister said.
Ebola has killed more than 13 000 people in West Africa, according to the World Health Organisation. In Liberia, the worst-affected country, 6 619 people have contracted the disease, and 2 766 have died.