UK to send extra troops, aircraft and naval vessel to help counter Ebola
09 October 2014
The UK is sending extra troops, aircraft and a naval vessel to Sierra Leone to help counter the spread of the Ebola virus, defence secretary Michael Fallon said following a meeting of the government's emergency response committee.
Prime minster David Cameron chaired a meeting of the committee to address growing public concern about the spread of the deadly virus to Europe, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The move comes amidst mounting fears that Europe was almost certain to see further cases of Ebola after a nurse in Spain became the first person known to have contracted the virus outside Africa.
Fallon said that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was already a global threat to public health, and it was vital that the UK remained at the forefront of responding to the epidemic.
Ebola had taken a toll of 3,400 lives in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and the spread of the disease had become a global concern and had also hurt the UK's top share index as the threat of the epidemic hit airline and tourism shares.
According to Fallon, following the meeting today, the UK was stepping up significantly the UK's contribution and leadership in work to tackle the outbreak, on land, in the air and at sea.
The UK would send 750 military personnel to Sierra Leone to tackle the deadly Ebola outbreak, foreign secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed, the BBC reported.
The UK would also send a medical ship the RFA Argus and three helicopters and the personnel would be deployed next week.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said, it was "now entirely possible that someone with Ebola will come to the UK either by one route or another".
The vast majority of deaths had occurred in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where 879 have died.
No cure or vaccine has yet been discovered for Ebola, which had infected over 8,000 people in the worst outbreak yet.
UK troops would help to establish treatment centres and a training academy, with the ship and helicopters providing support.