S. Leone Hails Lockdown ‘Success’

S. LEONEA three-day curfew aimed at containing the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has been declared a success by the authorities. The wide-ranging curfew ended at midnight on Sunday (GMT) and will not be extended, authorities said.

Sierra Leone has been one of the countries worst affected by the outbreaks, with more than 550 victims among the 2,600 deaths so far recorded.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Liberia announced a four-fold increase in the number of beds for Ebola patients.

Liberia is the country worst-hit by the epidemic, accounting for more than half the number of total deaths.

The head of Sierra Leone’s Emergency Operations Centre Stephen Gaojia told the BBC that the exercise was largely successful and that the compliance and receptiveness of Sierra Leoneans was “overwhelming”.

“We were able to discover quite a lot of people who have been infected… the numbers are not available as of today but I can assure you that we already have a little over 150 people who willingly reported to the nearest holding or isolation centre to be tested,” he said.

In the capital, Freetown, residents emerged from their houses to celebrate in the streets just before the official end of the lockdown.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the worst ever, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. The deadly virus is transmitted through sweat, blood and saliva, and there is no proven cure.

The curfew in Sierra Leone came into force on Friday morning, with most of the country’s six million inhabitants confined to their homes.

BBC

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