Amidst Worsening Ebola Crisis, Sierra Leone to Shut for 3 Days

first_imgNeighboring Serra Leone is to confine its people to their respective homes in what the government refers to as a “Nationwide three-day shutdown” beginning September 19.The decision according to government spokesman Abdulai Bayratay, is meant to help contain the Ebola epidemic threatening West Africa.During this exercise in Sierra Leone, pedestrians and vehicles will be barred from the country’s streets, except on essential business, for 72 hours (three days).”This will be strictly adhered to without exception,” government spokesman Abdulai Bayratay told AFP by telephone as he announced the quarantine plan.According to reports from Freetown, authorities there will use the three-day window to search out patients who have not come forward for treatment.Currently the Ebola outbreak in the region has claimed 491 lives in Sierra Leone and more than 2,000 in the sub-region.”Health workers as well as health-related NGO personnel will make house-to-house checks on homes for likely Ebola sufferers that relatives have hidden,” he said.Bayratay disclosed that several new ambulances and up to 30 military vehicles would be arriving to help enforce, and make use of, the shutdown, which could be repeated if necessary.Reports indicate that 7,000-strong patrol force including health workers, civil society activists and community members is to be set up to organize the quarantine plan, said a statement from the presidency in Freetown.”Their mission will be to monitor and track contacts, as well as to identify people with Ebola symptoms in order to prevent its transmission,” the statement said. “The decision was made to mobilize the entire population from September 18 to prepare for the confinement.”The pending exercise in Sierra Leone would halt all business activities in that country and cross border trade between it and Liberia will cease to exist.This will also bring heavy losses to businesspeople especially residing in that country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more