Most intense Ebola transmission in West Africa reported in western Sierra Leone

“Infections in Liberia’s Eastern border region have spiked recently as tight-knit cross-border communities spread the disease across the often porous border,” the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said in a press release, adding that 49 new Ebola cases had been recorded in the border county of Grand Cape Mount in December, including 12 in the past four days.UNDP Director for Liberia, Kamil Kamaluddeen, was quoted as saying that “the official border crossings from Sierra Leone into Grand Cape Mount are all patrolled, however, there are a number of places where it’s possible to cross without detection.”Motorbikes, tents, communications equipment and personal protective equipment will be also be provided for eight border crossings in remote areas bordering Sierra Leone, which will allow immigration as well as health workers to operate at the border, according to the development agency.The outgoing head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, has acknowledged the difficulty in getting response workers to some of the remote areas, but noted the importance being present out in the districts. Mr. Banbury’s tour of duty ends on January 3, 2015 and he will be succeeded by Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania as the head of UNMEER.WHO, in its latest update issued today, said the number of Ebola cases was fluctuating in Guinea and decreasing in Liberia, although Liberia reported more cases in the week ending 28 December than in the previous week. WHO also said there are signs that the increase in incidence has slowed in Sierra Leone. “However,” it noted, “the west of the country is still experiencing the most intense transmission of all affected countries.” To date, Ebola has affected more than 20,000 people with over 7,800 deaths, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “Interventions in the three countries continue to progress in line with the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response aim to conduct 100% of burials safely and with dignity, and to isolate and treat 100 per cent of EVD [Ebola Virus Disease] cases by 1 January, 2015,”according to WHO.A total of 678 health-care workers are known to have been infected with Ebola up to the end of 28 December 2014, according to WHO, 382 of whom have died. The total case count includes 2 healthcare workers in Mali, 11 in Nigeria, 1 infected in Spain while treating an Ebola-positive patient, 1 in the United Kingdom who became infected in Sierra Leone, and 3 in the United States including 1 infected in Guinea, and 2 others infected during the care of a patient in Texas.WHO also reported that the so-called Western Area Surge – an operation by the Government of Sierra Leone, WHO and UN partners – is intensifying efforts to curb the disease in the western parts of the country, particularly Freetown and neighbouring areas, to break chains of transmission, identify cases for early isolation and treatment, and conduct safe burials. UNMEER said that in support of the Western Area Surge, USAID airlifted two urgently needed ambulances from Monrovia to Freetown, and the World Food Programme (WFP) has taken a series of measures to strengthen the capacities of its forward logistics bases.The UN Mission also reported that the logistics commission of the National Ebola Response Cell of Guinea has said it needed more than 4,300 thermometers, including the thermo-flash, no-contact variety for medical facilities country-wide, as well as some 5.6 million pairs of surgical gloves for all health facilities. In Guinea, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) handed over 10 ambulances to national authorities for the fight against Ebola, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) more than $1 million worth of materials, including kits for Ebola survivors and pregnant women, as well as hand washing kits for maternity and youth centres. The donation also included 222 bikes and 36 motorcycles to facilitate contact tracing in affected communities. read more

Rosa King zoo keeper killed by tiger saw animals as friends say

first_imgThe statement said she had raised money for animal charities and travelled to China and Borneo to see conservation work. Rosa King with a cheetah at Hamerton Zoo in Cambs Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Her parents said she was best summed up by the statement “When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.”Miss King died at the scene after the incident at the 25-acre zoo in Cambridgeshire. Both police and the council are now investigating.He parents said: “She had a care and understanding of her animals that was a joy and privilege to behold. Ms King with one of the zoo’s cheetahs “Rosa was passionate about animals from the age of 2 when she first sat on the back of a horse. After that, her life was always going to be about animals.“She lived her life to the full and was a very caring, generous person.“She would stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves including the animals and campaigned and raised money for animal charities. The parents of a female zoo keeper killed by a tiger have paid tribute to her, saying she saw animals as friends.Peter and Andrea King said their daughter Rosa was “living her dream” and her vocation to work with big cats “meant the world to her”.The 33-year-old was killed on Bank Holiday Monday at Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire when a tiger got into an enclosure with her.last_img read more

Priti Patel demands explanation from police watchdog over botched Operation Midland investigation

Carl Beech has been jailed for 18-years Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. In a statement issued on the day Beech was found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud, the IOPC said it had investigated the allegations against the officers but had found no evidence that any of them had deliberately withheld evidence from the warrant applications with the intention of misleading the district judge and would have no case to answer for misconduct. Carl Beech has been jailed for 18-years Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP, who lost his home and job after being falsely accused of three child murders, dismissed the IOPC’s findings as a “whitewash”.Ms Patel met with Mr Lockwood on Thursday and he has promised to provide a full written explanation about the findings. A Home Office source said: “Priti and Martin Lockwood had a constructive meeting. In the meeting the Home Secretary asked for an explanation of the decision of his decision not to charge.”He explained some of that verbally but will follow up and provide a full explanation in writing.” The Home Secretary has demanded a full written explanation from the police watchdog as to why no officers will face disciplinary charges over the botched Operation Midland investigation, the Telegraph can reveal.Priti Patel met with Martin Lockwood, the head of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) on Thursday, to discuss the fallout from the Carl Beech investigation, which saw a string of high profile figures falsely accused of child abuse and murder.The pair were said to have had a “constructive meeting”, but the recently appointed Home Secretary, is seeking a full explanation of the IOPC’s findings.During the £4 million investigation, Beech’s claims were described by senior Scotland Yard officers as “credible and true”, and the homes of some of the accused were raided by detectives.Last week, Sir Richard Henriques, the retired High Court judge, who carried out a review of Operation Midland said he believed there were grounds for some officers to be investigated for the criminal offence of perverting the course of justice after they were accused of misleading a district judge when they applied for the search warrants.The IOPC investigated five officers for potential misconduct, but all were cleared and will face no further action. read more