A Spanish priest working in the West African nation of Liberia tested positive for the ebola virus and is being treated in isolation at San Jose Hospital in Monrovia, the Spain-based health charity Juan Ciudad ONGD said Tuesday.
Testing positive along with the Rev. Miguel Pajares of the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God were two nuns from the Order of the Immaculate Conception, Sisters Chantal Pasaline Mutwamene and Paciencia Melgar, the charity said.
“The situation in the San Jose Hospital in Monrovia where six people have been isolated since last Friday, Aug. 1, is serious,” Juan Ciudad ONGD said in a statement.
The ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed 887 lives so far, according to figures released Monday.
Before learning the diagnosis, Pajares, 75, had told Efe that he was feeling “abandoned” in the African nation and was hoping to return to Spain to receive proper medical care.
“I’d like (to go to Spain) because we’ve had a very bad experience with what’s happened here. Here we are abandoned and they’re not taking care of us. We want to go to Spain and for them to treat us as people, as God orders,” said Pajares in remarks made by telephone.
Sister Juliana Bohi, who is also of Spanish nationality, on Monday was also among the six people being treated in isolation at the hospital, the director of which - Patrick Nshamdze - recently died of ebola.
After learning Pajares’ diagnosis, his religious order informed the Spanish government.
More than 15,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Spanish Foreign Ministry to transport the Spanish religious workers currently in isolation due to ebola back to Spain.
In the petition, it is demanded that the ministry bring the health care workers back to Spain, just as the United States did with two of its citizens who had contracted the virus.
Liberia is one of the countries most heavily affected by the ebola outbreak, and more than 150 people have succumbed to it there since it was first detected in March. E