World Bank pledges $200 mn to combat Ebola; India silent

The World Bank has pledged $200 million in emergency funding to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone contain the Ebola virus that has killed hundreds of people in West Africa and threatens to spread farther.

"The international community needs to act fast to contain and stop this Ebola outbreak," said World Bank group president Jim Yong Kim, a medical doctor with experience in infectious diseases.

"I believe this new World Bank emergency funding will provide critically needed support for the response to stop the further transmission," he said.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian health officials are testing a patient suspected of contracting the Ebola virus as fears grow that the disease is starting to spread beyond West Africa.

The UN's World Health Organization said in its most recent update on the disease that the number of reported cases has risen to 1,603, with 887 deaths. The week ended 1 August saw 163 new cases and 61 deaths.

This comes as a second American health worker infected with Ebola left Liberia today and is on her way to Atlanta for treatment.

Nancy Writebol, a missionary from North Carolina, will be treated at the same Atlanta hospital where physician Kent Brantly has already has been taken. (See: Ebola-hit US charity doc 'better' but survival uncertain).

The Indian government has yet to announce steps against the menace of Ebola, which is not too far from Indian shores, more so since African countries have a large Indian population that constantly visits India.