Ebola shutdown uncovers 70 dead

Sunday, September 21, 2014
By Paul Martin

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sierra Leone has ended its 72-hour shutdown, with authorities reporting the action aimed at containing the Ebola epidemic has uncovered up to 70 dead bodies in and around the capital.

Most of the West African country’s six million people were confined to their homes for a third straight day on Sunday. Only essential workers such as health professionals and security forces were exempt.

Almost 30,000 volunteers have been going door-to-door to educate locals and hand out soap, in an exercise that was expected to lead to scores more patients and bodies being discovered in homes.

Deputy chief medical officer Sarian Kamara revealed the authorities had received thousands of calls but only a handful of new patients in the Western Area covering Freetown and its surroundings.

‘We were … able to confirm new cases which, had they not been discovered, would have greatly increased transmission,’ she said.

‘Up to this morning, we had 22 new cases. The response from the medical (teams) has improved and the burial teams were able to bury between 60 to 70 corpses over the past two days.’

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