Bob Geldof on Ebola virus: 'Action came too little too late'

The Boomtown Rats musician said Sierra Leone is now facing “state collapse”

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The Independent Online

Bob Geldof said that action should have been taken much earlier to prevent the spread of Ebola.

The Boomtown Rats singer spoke in front of 1,300 delegates at the One Young World summit in Dublin.

He maintained that Médecins Sans Frontières had warned of the threat of the fatal pandemic six months ago. The virus has now killed over 4,000 people.

"We should have done something about it then," said Geldof, adding that it is important to act immediately when crisis’ in poorer countries take place because "it affects us immediately". "There is no time lag between what happens in poorer parts of the world and it affecting us, which is why when these happen we have to intervene quite radically, effectively and immediately," he told CNN. "The usual cliché too little too late."

He noted how while other countries like US and Spain have the systems in place to deal with the virus, West Africa is at a disadvantage - as it was in the Eighties when Geldof campaigned about famine in the region.

“They don’t have the doctors, hospitals, nurses, state systems that they have in Madrid and Texas," he explained. "And so, once again, through no fault of their own, this virus is out of control in states where there are no systems - because there is no money."

He said that the country now faced "state collapse" and that world leaders must act "immediately" if the virus to be stopped.

"It’s beyond the point of getting together and having a summit," he said. "It’s now about calling up the various leaders and saying, 'Now, do it now.'"

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