UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations health agency will convene a two-day meeting of its emergency committee starting Wednesday to discuss the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a UN spokeswoman said here on Tuesday.
"According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 1 August, the number of Ebola cases stands at 1,603, including 887 deaths, in four countries: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone," UN Associate Spokesperson Vannina Maestracci said at a daily briefing.
Maestracci noted that between July 31 and Aug. 1, there were a total of 163 new cases and 61 deaths in two days.
"Human and financial resource mobilization continues to be sought from WHO's partners, UN agencies, and other stakeholders," she said.
"WHO has also announced it was convening a meeting of its emergency committee over the next two days," said the spokeswoman.
The aim of the emergency meeting is to determine whether the current Ebola viral disease outbreak in West Africa constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
If so, the committee would recommend to the WHO Director- General to declare it a public health emergency of international concern and recommend appropriate temporary measures to reduce international spread of the virus.
The UN health agency is scheduled to hold a press conference with Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Security, at 9 a.m. Geneva time on Friday on the outcome of the meeting of the emergency committee, which might finish its work quite late at night on Thursday.
Ebola, which spreads through mucous and other body fluid or secretions such as stool, urine, saliva and semen of infected people, is believed to be very difficult to control.
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