Liberia discharges last Ebola patient
Liberia has recorded no new cases within the last 13 days

Liberian authorities have discharged the country's last known Ebola patient, edging closer to the total eradication of the deadly virus that has killed thousands of Liberians since last year.

Beatrice Yardoldo, 58, the last and only patient at the Chinese Ebola Treatment Unit, was discharged from hospital on Thursday.

Yardolo and her daughter were taken to the unit on Feb. 18 after contracting the virus.

Her daughter has since passed away, while she spent 15 days undergoing medical treatment at the Chinese-run unit.

Yardolo was the last known confirmed Ebola case in Liberia, which has recorded no new cases within the last 13 days.

"The care I received from the Chinese and Liberian nurses here has been so intensive that I am standing here today," she said at an official ceremony marking her discharge. "I am very grateful to God."

Liberia's first Ebola case was reported on March 24 in Lofa County.

Since then, Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has killed nearly 9,804 people, mostly in West Africa, according to a March 4 World Health Organization (WHO) status report.

In Liberia alone, the virus has claimed at least 4,117 lives.

Tolbert Nyensuah, the head of Liberia's Ebola Incidence Management Team, said the country had made great strides in the fight against the virus.

"We are discharging the last person from the treatment unit, but that doesn't mean the virus is out of Liberia," he cautioned.

"We still need to follow all of the protocols to keep the country on track," Nyensuah insisted.

"We are counting down from the 21 days to March 13, and we are counting down for the 42 days for the international community to have confidence in our system that Ebola is no longer here," he added.

"But the road is still long so we will do our best; we will do our job to follow up all the contacts, maintain the vigilance, and do away with compliancy to respond adequately," the official asserted.

He thanked the international community and the Chinese government for their support in fighting Ebola.

Pang Hanzhao, the charge d'affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Liberia, congratulated health workers for their hard work saving Yardolo's life.

"Though we can't say Ebola is completely over, the fact that there is no confirmed case in the treatment units and there has been no confirmed case in the last week is a very strong manifestation that tremendous achievements have been made in the fight against Ebola," he said.

The Chinese diplomat added: "The goal of zero cases is not a dream, but is becoming a reality at a pace unimaginable."

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Last Modified: 2015-03-06 09:08:53
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