PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Monday it had agreed to set up new treatment centers for Ebola in Guinea after the United States asked for further assistance to fight the deadly epidemic in West Africa.
The French president’s office said Francois Hollande had spoken to his U.S. counterpart in the evening about ways to tackle the worst outbreak of the disease on record, which has killed more than 4,000 people so far, mostly in Guinea, neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“Francois Hollande and Barack Obama have called for an increased mobilization of the international community and the European Union, in close coordination with the United Nations, the WHO and the countries affected,” Hollande’s office said in a statement.
The United States has said not enough has been committed by developed countries to help curb the epidemic. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week urged countries around the world to supply more money, equipment and medical staff to the countries affected in West Africa.
France, a former colonial power in the region, has so far given just 70 million euros ($88.8 million) to the effort and is due to open by early November its first treatment center in the Forest Region of southeastern Guinea, where the outbreak was first detected in March.
France will build more treatment centers beyond this one, which is being set up in Macenta, Hollande’s office said, without giving more details.
France is also considering controlling passengers flying in from the worst-hit countries, it added.
Several U.S. airports have already introduced screening procedures to check incoming travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for fever and other symptoms of Ebola.
(U.S. $1 = 0.7879 Euro)
Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by Lisa Shumaker