Liberians pack into churches despite Ebola warnings
Liberians packed churches in the capital of Monrovia yesterday to seek solace from an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, defying official warnings to avoid public gatherings to try to contain an epidemic that has killed nearly 1,000 people in west Africa.
With its creaking healthcare system overrun, Liberia declared a state of emergency to tackle the highly-contagious and incurable disease, which has also stricken Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.
People still flocked to sing and pray in churches in the ramshackle ocean-front capital, many of them comparing Ebola to the brutal civil war that ravaged the country between 1989 and 2003, killing nearly a quarter of a million people.
"Everyone is so afraid," said Martee Jones Seator at Saint Peter's Lutheran Church. "Ebola is not going to shake our faith in any way... because we've been through difficult times."
The World Health Organisation has said that the world's worst outbreak of Ebola will likely continue for months, as the region's healthcare systems struggle to cope, and it has appealed for funding and emergency medical staff.