UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations will soon set up an Ebola crisis center to coordinate the response to the deadly virus and to strive to halt its spread in West African countries within six to nine months, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Friday.
Ban called on the international community to provide $600 million needed for supplies in West Africa, where Ebola has killed more than 1,900 people since March and is "spreading far faster than the response."
"The goal is to stop Ebola transmission in affected countries within six to nine months, and to prevent the international spread of the virus," Ban said. "This can be done only if the urgent and necessary mobilization is done both in the affected countries and by the international community."
He urged airlines and shipping companies not to cancel flights and docking in the affected countries.
"Banning flights and shipping services will not keep Ebola from spreading, but it will keep medical teams from reaching people most in need," he told reporters.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)