Sierra Leone to cordon off three Ebola ‘hotspots’ home to 1.5 million

Thursday, September 25, 2014
By Paul Martin
September 25, 2014

Sierra Leone restricted travel Thursday into and within three more “hotspots” of Ebola where 1.5 million people live, meaning that more than a third of the country’s population is now under quarantine.

Sierra Leone is one of the hardest hit countries in an Ebola outbreak sweeping West Africa that is believed to have killed more than 2,900 people, according to World Health Organization tolls published Thursday. The agency says the situation in Sierra Leone continues to deteriorate, driven primarily by a sharp increase of cases in the capital, Freetown.

In an address to the nation on Wednesday night, President Ernest Bai Koroma put Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba districts under isolation, meaning only people delivering essential services can enter and circulate within these areas. WHO also noted that these districts were seeing a rise in cases.

In other areas, including in the capital, homes will be put under quarantine when cases are identified, a government statement after the address said.

The Ebola outbreak, the largest ever, has also hit Liberia and Guinea and is believed to have sickened more than 6,200 people. An Ebola patient also slipped into Senegal from Guinea but the disease does not appear to have spread there. Nigeria has linked 20 cases to the disease and eight deaths after a man infected with Ebola traveled there from Liberia; the outbreak seems to have been contained there as well.

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