Afcon: Equatorial Guinea calls for calm amid Ebola fears

The head of Equatorial Guinea’s Ebola control and prevention committee has called for calm amid fears of possible risks during the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) starting on January 17.

“I ask people to remain calm, the misunderstanding comes from some social and political actors who twist good into evil and evil into disaster. Ebola is bad, but we must unite our efforts for the success of Afcon,” committee president Lucas Nguema Esono Mbang told state television.

He was referring to criticism from opponents of Equatorial Guinea president Téodoro Obiang Nguema who agreed to organise the tournament after original hosts Morocco were stripped of the tournament after insisting on a postponement due to the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa.

“We’re talking about $40 million (about R438m) expenditure for this, we don’t have hospitals, the population is living badly, no laboratory to carry out tests to determine if it is Ebola,” complained Andrés Esono Ondo, general secretary of the main opposition party Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS).

As part of the fight against Ebola, Malabo has recruited 50 Cuban doctors, and three isolation centres to house people suspected of having the disease will be set up before the January 17 to February 8 tournament starts.

Equatorial Guinea co-hosted Afcon with Gabon in 2012.

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