Guinea unrest hampering Ebola response: UN

Workers wearing protective suits are pictured at the Donka Ebola treatment center on May 2, 2015 in Conakry, Guinea (AFP Photo/Cellou Binani)

Conakry (AFP) - The head of the UN mission on Ebola in Guinea on Monday said violence in the west of the country "jeopardised" the fight against the deadly virus.

Around 60 people have been arrested as a result of unrest in the past week, according to local authorities and residents.

The head of the UN mission (UNMEER) Abdou Dieng warned in a statement that the unrest had "jeopardised the treatment of people with the Ebola virus".

"I call upon all the people of Guinea to support and collaborate with national and international stakeholders in the fight against Ebola," he said.

The statement noted that unrest in the country had led to public buildings being damaged, an ambulance being burned and added that "Ebola response partners were attacked".

Justice Minister Cheick Sako meanwhile denied reports published last week that police arrested six people who used a taxi to transport a dead Ebola victim wearing sunglasses to make him look as though he were alive.

In a statement, the minister slammed "the rumour that an Ebola patient, dressed up for the journey, was stopped by the security services".

The infected man had in fact travelled to a village in western Guinea for treatment and died on the way back, the minister said.

Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses known to man, is spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of the recently deceased or an infected person showing symptoms such as fever or vomiting.

According to the latest official figures, the outbreak has infected 27,135 people and killed 11,145, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia, which was declared Ebola-free on May 9.