Asian countries are not contributing enough to the global effort to fight Ebola, despite having a wealth of trained medical personnel who could help stop the spread of the deadly virus, World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said on Tuesday.
"Many countries in Asia who could help simply are not, especially when it comes to sending health workers," Kim told a news conference in Seoul. South Korea has pledged to contribute $5.6 million dollars to combat the virus, and both Japan and China have sent equipment or medical staff to the Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa. China has so far donated 750 million yuan ($123 million) to 13 African countries and international organizations to combat Ebola, according to the government. It has also sent hundreds of health workers. In contrast, the United States has sent thousands of troops and pledged $1 billion. Some Asian countries have introduced stricter border controls in response to the virus, and isolated North Korea has closed its borders and introduced mandatory 21-day quarantine for all foreigners visiting the country. Kim said focusing on border control alone was akin to being inside a smoke-filled room in a burning house and only putting "wet towels under the door."