Liberia government orders Ebola victims cremated

August 4, 2014 - 6:35 AM
Liberia West Africa Ebola

A woman prays with others from different religious groups against the spread of the Ebola virus, in Monrovia, Liberia, Saturday Aug. 2, 2014. An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned, as presidents from the affected countries met Friday in Guinea's capital. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — The Liberian government is ordering that all corpses of Ebola victims must be cremated as fears rise that the disease could be spread by bodies being buried in residential areas.

Information Minister Lewis Brown announced Monday on state radio that authorities now will cremate the remains of Ebola victims.

The order comes after a tense standoff erupted over the weekend when health workers tried to bury more than 20 Ebola victims on the outskirts of Monrovia.

Authorities said military police officers were called in to help restore order so that the burials could take place.

West Africa is experiencing the largest recorded Ebola outbreak in history, with at least 729 deaths blamed on the disease. Many contracted the disease by touching the bodies of victims as is tradition at funerals.