Ebola lockdown ends, rush to set up clinics

Sunday, September 21, 2014
By Paul Martin

Sierra Leone’s health ministry says it has ended a 3-day lockdown aimed at stemming the Ebola epidemic. It says teams briefed more than one million households and buried scores of bodies to slow further contagion.


Frustrated Sierra Leoneans were on Monday more free to move after 6 million residents spent the weekend indoors under curfew. The ministry said 75 percent of households had been contacted by outreach teams, who would continue health education efforts in “hot spots.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sarian Kamara said the lockdown had helped to locate 22 new cases of infection, which, if not discovered, would have “greatly increased transmission” of the virus that can cause fatal bleeding.

National emergency team head Stephen Gaojia said the lockdown’s objectives “have largely been met.” More than 120 people had come forward and were being tested. Of these, 56 showed signs of infection, he said.

Food shortage side-effect

Poorer residents complained that the lockdown had left them unable to earn money to buy food. Food handouts in slums had been insufficient, they said.

Officials said only one incident marred the lockdown: On Friday, health workers were attacked but managed later to bury five bodies, under police guard.

Western Africa’s outbreak has claimed more than 2,600 lives in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, raising fears of economic fallout.

Liberia opens treatment center

The Rest…HERE

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