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Residents of Guinea’s capital Conakry criticise emergency services for their slow response to help a man who collapsed in the street and was left for nearly five hours because of fears he might be suffering from Ebola
A man lay helpless in the street for almost five hours without medical assistance in Guinea’s capital Conakry while passers-by went about their daily routine due to fear of the Ebola virus.
The Ebola virus – first detected in the West African country in March – has led people to be wary of close contact with anyone who might have been infected.
But they were shocked that it took almost five hours to get medical assistance to the man who lay helpless in the street while passers-by went about their daily routine. A local mechanic, Amidou Camara, saw the collapsed man when he arrived to open his garage on Wednesday morning. “I called the police and when they came they said they were going to call the doctors but up till now nobody has come here,” Mr Camara tells Telegraph UK.
Passers-by in Conakry said they were worried about the cause of the man’s collapse, even though it was not clear if he was in fact suffering from Ebola.
“I don’t know whether he was suffering from Ebola or not,” said Amadou Barry, “so let them come and take him from here because we are afraid.”
Eventually, four and a half hours after the man’s collapse was first reported, two members of the Ebola group arrived at the scene saying they were there to conduct an investigation.
“There is a special group that will come in to seal off and protect the area, but all depends on the investigation result we are going to produce and submit to them. They will then send a team with a responsibility to come and pick the man,” one of the officers who would not give his name.
While health officials say the virus is transmitted only through direct contact with bodily fluids, many sick patients have refused to go to isolation centres and have infected family members and other caregivers.