A patient suffering from the deadly Ebola virus leaves quarantine in Monrovia and searches for food at a local market before being caught by doctors and forced back into an ambulance while scared and angry crowds watch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A man on Monday (September 1) escaped from an Ebola quarantine centre in Monrovia and sent local people fleeing in fear as he walked through a local market in search of food. The patient, who wore a tag showing he had tested positive for Ebola, held a stick and tried to get away from doctors in the centre in the Paynesville neighbourhood as they arrived on the scene attempting to catch him. The patient escaped from Monrovia's Elwa hospital, which last month was so crowded it had to turn away Ebola victims. More than 1,550 people in four West African countries have died from the virus since the outbreak was first recorded in March. Liberia has the highest infection rate with around 700 deaths out of 1327 suspected and confirmed cases. One local woman said care for Ebola patients was so inadequate they were not even being fed. "The patients are hungry, they are starving. No food, no water. The government need to do more. Let Ellen [Johnson-Sirleaf] do more," she said. Healthcare workers eventually forced the man into a waiting ambulance and took him back to the facility. One local man said, he was the fifth patient to escape from the centre: "We told the Liberian government from the beginning, we do not want Ebola camp here. Today makes it the fifth Ebola patient coming outside vomiting and toiletting." President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a U.S.-educated Nobel Peace Prize winner, has sought to quell criticism of the government's response to the outbreak by issuing orders threatening officials with dismissal for failing to report for work or for fleeing the country. On Saturday (August 30) government and health officials said they had plans to build five new Ebola treatment centres each with a capacity for 100 beds. The outbreak originally began in Guinea, but has spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and most recently Senegal.