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Ebola lockdown declared

SEPTEMBER 8, 2014

President Koroma calls for efforts to be scaled up to defeat the dreaded Ebola virus

President Koroma calls for efforts to be scaled up to defeat the dreaded Ebola virus

Government has sanctioned a nationwide lockdown of the country from 18 to 21 September following a decision reached by the Presidential Task Force on Ebola on Friday to scale-up efforts to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, which continues to record high infections and deaths on a daily basis.

The Presidential Task Force is managing the national response to combat the dreaded disease.

The move underscores the radical steps West African nations are being pushed to take over six months into an outbreak that is the worst on record and shows no sign of easing, having already killed nearly 2,000 people in the four affected countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria since March.

By this measure, the movement of people and vehicles will be restricted in a bid to prevent the disease from spreading further and allow health workers to identify cases in the early stages of the illness.

This approach, according to the Task Force, is deemed necessary to deal with the spread of the disease once and for all.

As of last Friday, Sierra Leone has recorded some 490 of the total of suspected, probable and confirmed Ebola deaths.

Some volunteers will be recruited to enforce the lockdown, while thousands of police and soldiers will also be deployed to strengthen the process.

Meanwhile, President Koroma has called on all partners in the fight to scale up efforts to stem the further spread of the virus.