UN says Ebola must be contained by Christmas or it will be out of control

UN officials admit that unless the international community can get Ebola under control by Christmas, the world will face an "unprecedented" situation for which there are no plans to deal with.

Sky News:

"The WHO advises within 60 days we must ensure 70% of infected people are in a care facility and 70% of burials are done without causing further infection," said Anthony Banbury, the UN's deputy ebola coordinator.

"We need to do that within 60 days from 1 October. If we reach these targets then we can turn this epidemic around."

But Mr Banbury told the UN Security Council the 70% target was becoming harder to meet as new infections stack up.

He urged: "We either stop ebola now or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan."

The UN's Unmeer emergency mission is following a four-pronged plan to fight ebola.

Identify and trace contacts; manage cases; ensure safe burials and provide people with information to protect themselves.

"If we fail at any of these, we fail entirely," warned Mr Banbury.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier said there could be 10,000 new cases of ebola per week within two months.

WHO assistant director general Bruce Aylward told a news conference the total was expected to top 9,000 by the end of this week.

He said the death rate from the current outbreak had risen to 70% from about 50%. 

When asked how the situation could develop in the next two months, he warned: "We anticipate the number of cases occurring per week by that time to be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 per week.

There have been a total of 9,000 cases so far and by Christmas they expect 10,000 a week? It doesn't sound as if they think they can get a handle on the outbreak. And their goals are totally unrealistic.

As long as the international community drags its feet on making a massive effort to halt the virus in its tracks, the worst case scenario will be in play

UN officials admit that unless the international community can get Ebola under control by Christmas, the world will face an "unprecedented" situation for which there are no plans to deal with.

Sky News:

"The WHO advises within 60 days we must ensure 70% of infected people are in a care facility and 70% of burials are done without causing further infection," said Anthony Banbury, the UN's deputy ebola coordinator.

"We need to do that within 60 days from 1 October. If we reach these targets then we can turn this epidemic around."

But Mr Banbury told the UN Security Council the 70% target was becoming harder to meet as new infections stack up.

He urged: "We either stop ebola now or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan."

The UN's Unmeer emergency mission is following a four-pronged plan to fight ebola.

Identify and trace contacts; manage cases; ensure safe burials and provide people with information to protect themselves.

"If we fail at any of these, we fail entirely," warned Mr Banbury.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier said there could be 10,000 new cases of ebola per week within two months.

WHO assistant director general Bruce Aylward told a news conference the total was expected to top 9,000 by the end of this week.

He said the death rate from the current outbreak had risen to 70% from about 50%. 

When asked how the situation could develop in the next two months, he warned: "We anticipate the number of cases occurring per week by that time to be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 per week.

There have been a total of 9,000 cases so far and by Christmas they expect 10,000 a week? It doesn't sound as if they think they can get a handle on the outbreak. And their goals are totally unrealistic.

As long as the international community drags its feet on making a massive effort to halt the virus in its tracks, the worst case scenario will be in play