Liberian officials confirmed a second Ebola case on Wednesday in the same town where the disease was detected days earlier on the corpse of teenager, seven weeks after the country was declared Ebola-free. The infected person was moved to Monrovia, said deputy health minister Tolbert Nyenswah.
Between 100 and 200 Ebola center workers stormed the Ministry of Health in eastern Monrovia on Wednesday demanding hazard pay that they said they haven’t received since the country was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization on May 9. Protesters turned off the building generator, an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, told The Associated Press.
“We are all held hostage in the building,” the official said, adding that police in the compound were not doing much to quell the protests. Health minister Bernice Dahn said Liberia has paid hazard benefits to “99 percent” of people who worked in the Ebola treatment units in addition to their regular salaries. She said if there are people who feel they have not been paid, “they should come forward” and make their case with the ministry.
Also Wednesday, workers exhumed the body of the 17-year-old male student whose infection, detected after his death, sparked fears of the return of Ebola to Liberia. The country was the hardest hit in the region, with 4,800 deaths, before it contained transmission. The new tests will help determine the mode of transmission to the boy, said an official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak about the matter.
Experts warn that Ebola remains a threat to West Africa until it is eradicated from Guinea and Sierra Leone where it stubbornly hangs on. The West African outbreak of Ebola is the worst ever recorded, killing more than 11,200 people.