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Ban Ki-moon on Ebola - Press Conference, 2nd UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries

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Joint Press Conference by H.E. Mr.Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (Vienna, 3 November 2014) with updates concerning the Ebola virus outbreak.
Q: From Reuter’s news agency, Secretary-General I have a question which touches upon international trade and concerns many countries. What should be the next step to contain Ebola and what does the international community need to do to contain to the crisis, you know, in the short term? Thank you very much.
SG: The Ebola outbreak is an unprecedented crisis for the international community that requires a global response in a massive and speedy way. That is why the United Nations has been mobilizing international support in terms of logistical, financial and political support and also encouraging many Member States to send medical and health workers to the region. We have established the UN mission for Ebola emergency response called UNMEER. We are really working very hard to address this issue with utmost priority in a massive way. We really hope that we will be able to [stop] the spread of Ebola virus, in this regard, particularly relating to your question on the specific area of trade and communication and movement of goods and people. The best way to stop this virus is to stop this virus at its source, rather than limiting for work, or restricting the movement of people or trade. That is why I have been urging all major international airlines and major shipping service lines to continue their normal trade and movement and transportations, and particularly when there are some unnecessary extra restrictions and discrimination against health workers. These people who are working on the ground to help people affected, they are extraordinary people who are giving of themselves, they are risking their own lives. We have seen more than 250 health workers who died in the course of providing health services. Of course, when somebody has symptoms of Ebola, those people should be immediately treated and supported and evacuated when necessary. That’s what I am really mobilizing support, including medevac capacity. Even the day before yesterday the French Government has helped the UN staff to be evacuated. This we are very much grateful for. Therefore, unnecessarily strong or strict restrictions or discrimination including quarantining health workers, when they are not based on science and medical evidence, then they should be treated as normal. Of course one should go through normal procedures to make sure one is not affected. That is my urgent and honest appeal to the international community again.
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