Notable health authorities in Liberia and other parts of the world they don’t understand the decline in Ebola cases in Liberia, and they just don’t know if the disease is being overcome or if the country’s response is driving it underground. Empty beds in Ebola health facilities continue to surprise practitioners, and many state that it is evidence that the West African country is winning the war against the deadly epidemic.
Although international partners continue in their resolve to build 20 new Ebola treatment units in Liberia in the light of dire predictions of more deaths, about two-third of the 696 beds in many treatment centers is now empty, and burial teams no longer pick dead bodies from off the streets. And with this encouraging development, the Deputy Health Minister, Towan Nyenswah, reports that “the key indicators are telling us that things are improving and slowing down.”
However, Sean Casey of the International Medical Corps in Bong County states in the face of the growing empty beds that “there could be a legitimate decline, but there could be a blip down, or previously there could have been a blip up.” And Natasha Reyes of the Medecins Sans Frontieres states that “we still don’t have a very clear picture of what’s going on outside our treatment units. How much of this is happening right now, we still don’t know.”
But the Liberia’s chief medical officer, Dr. Bernice Dahn calls for caution in reaching a speedy conclusion on the status of Ebola in the country, stating that “now we’re seeing a downward trend, there’s actually discussion over whether some of these ETUs are needed or not. But you need to see the direction the disease is taking.”