MONROVIA: Against a deepening twilight in a swampy field outside of Liberia’s capital Monrovia, a bulldozer engine roars next to a small group of muddy graves.
These are the intended tombs for victims of the tropical Ebola virus that has already killed 156 people so far in the West African country and more than 729 people in the region, according to the World Health Organisation.
But, as the sun sets on Saturday, instead of the 100 graves ordered by the health ministry there are just five shallow holes, partly filled with water.
The slow progress follows strong resistance from local communities who do not want victims of the disease buried near their homes, enhancing the difficulties of stretched West African governments as they seek to control the worst Ebola outbreak in history.
Liberia’s overcrowded and understaffed Elwa Hospital has had to turn away Ebola cases this week - a scenario exacerbated by the withdrawal of some international staff following the infection of two US health workers here.
Ebola, which is fatal in more than half of cases in the current outbreak, is transmitted by direct contact with the blood or fluids of the infected, including the dead.
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