UK military officials say more British troops will be deployed to contain the Ebola epidemic than fight battles amid the increasing danger that the deadly disease may further spread.
According to British authorities, while nearly 750 UK soldiers have been deployed to Sierra Leone to engage in setting up medical centers and train medics on the ground in a bid to curb the spread of the Ebola virus, only a small contingent is reportedly involved in the purported US-led airstrike against the Takfiri ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon stated on Tuesday that London “had to act” to halt the spread of the deadly disease and that the deployment of UK troops was necessary to “get the outbreak under control.”
“Unless it’s brought under control, it’s going to spread across West Africa, into Europe and the UK,” Fallon emphasized.
The deployment of British troops, along with soldiers from other countries, to Africa comes as the United Nations warns it has only a couple of months to tackle the Ebola crisis before it runs out of options, and that there could be between 5,000 and 10,000 new cases recorded per week.
“We either stop Ebola now or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan,” said the UN’s deputy Ebola coordinator, Anthony Banbury, on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the British defense secretary on Tuesday visited British naval forces that will join more than the 300 other British military personnel deployed to West Africa.
Yet another 200 military officers are to be deployed by the end of this year to staff the Ebola training facility led by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the UK’s military authorities.
The deployment of British troops comes as an additional 100 US troops are being deployed to contain the disease in Liberia, one of the African countries worst hit by the Ebola epidemic.