Sierra Leone to lockdown 2.5 mn to stem Ebola crisis
Iran Press TV
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:47PM
Sierra Leone has announced plans to confine nearly 2.5 million of people to their homes across the capital of Freetown as well as in north of the country for three days in a bid to curtail the deadly Ebola epidemic.
"The lockdown will be conducted from March 27 to March 29 and will be like the one we conducted in September last year," said Palo Conteh, the head of the country's National Ebola Response Center on Thursday.
The measure, which takes place following a similar nationwide lockdown in September, was announced after the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Wednesday that the overall number of fatalities caused by the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone had climbed to nearly 10,200 since December 2013.
"The government and partners are hopeful that latent cases that are now not being reported or recorded will come out," Conteh added.
Authorities plan to use the 72-hour window to search out patients in the Western Area, which includes Freetown as well as the northern districts of Bombali and Port Loko.
Teams of experts will go door-to-door to remind households of the risks of traditional burials, which is believed to be a major factor in the spread of the deadly virus, as well as probing the fatalities not reported to the government.
The outbreak of the fatal disease has so far taken nearly 3,700 lives in the poor west African country, which is among the three worst-hit nations in the region, including Guinea and Liberia.
One of the deadliest viruses known to man, Ebola is spread merely through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those that have recently died from the disease or an infected individual showing symptoms such as fever or vomiting.
This is while no proven vaccine or treatment has so far been developed to cure the hemorrhagic fever it causes, although several vaccines are under trial in the three countries and elsewhere.
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