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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 12th, 2014
06:27 PM ET

Liberia needs urgent help to deal with Ebola outbreak, WHO says

(CNN) – The number of new Ebola cases is growing faster than the ability of health officials to handle them, the head of the World Health Organization said Friday.

"In the three hardest hit countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the number of new cases is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them in the Ebola-specific treatment centers," said Margaret Chan, the WHO director-general. "Today, there is not one single bed available for the treatment of an Ebola patient in the entire country of Liberia."

Liberia has seen almost 400 new Ebola cases in the last week, nearly double the number from the previous week. The Liberian government needs urgent support to deal with the outbreak, says a WHO spokesman.

"We are seeing cases across the country, there are transmission chains in 14 out of 15 counties in Liberia. We do not enough of beds to treat all those who need to be treated. People out there who are infected are infecting other people," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

The WHO, along with partners like Médecins Sans Frontières, are working to set up more Ebola centers.

"But this will not be enough," said Jasarevic. "We are looking into other ways, how we can provide basic health services to those who are infected. And basically trying to get them out of the community, so they do not infect their family and friends."

The WHO is working with member states asking them how they can best support the outbreak. Cuba announced it will send 165 health workers to Sierra Leone, the Gates foundation pledged $50 million of aid, and the United Kingdom said it would send a medical team with a 62-bed capacity to Sierra Leone. The U.S. also pledged financial support.

"What is really important is we (act) fast, and that we have the right balance between funds, experts, and equipment, because what we need is all three of those on the ground as soon as possible," said Jasarevic.

For more of our interview with WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic, check out the video above.

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