11/25/2014 06:55 EST | Updated 01/25/2015 05:59 EST

Ebola bodies dumped at Sierra Leone hospital by protesting burial workers

Bodies of Ebola victims in Sierra Leone have been dumped in public places by burial workers who say they haven't been paid the special risk allowances they claim they were promised, the BBC reports.

Workers in Kenema, the country's third-largest city, reportedly left one body by a hospital manager's office and two others by the hospital entrance.

Sierra Leone is one of the worst-hit countries in Africa, with more than 1,200 Ebola deaths so far. It recorded 533 new cases in the week to Nov. 16, Reuters reported.

There was no immediate comment from the Kenema hospital or the Sierra Leone Health Ministry, the BBC said.

The burial workers' action came two weeks after health workers went on strike for similar reasons at a clinic near Bo,  the only facility in southern Sierra Leone that is currently treating Ebola victims, the BBC said.

The Ebola death toll overall has risen to 5,459 out of 15,351 cases identified in eight countries by Nov. 18, the World Health Organization said Nov. 21. Almost all those cases are in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Going to make it

Anthony Banbury, head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, said Nov. 24 that the areas of greatest concern are in rural parts of Sierra Leone as well as the city of Makeni in the centre of the country, Port Loko in the northwest and the capital of Freetown.

The UN's new goal is to get 70 per cent of new cases in treatment and 70 per cent of burials done safely, he said.

"In some places, we are definitely going to make it: we see some really good impact of the efforts of the national authorities and the United Nations system …," he said.

"It's clear where there are escalating cases rapidly accelerating the spread of the disease, and where we don't have the response capability on the ground, and that's definitely the case in some places, we're not going make it."