Sierra Leone imposes new curfew to contain Ebola

Sierra Leone enforced on Thursday a new three-day curfew in an attempt to stop the spread of the Ebola virus, which has already killed nearly 3,700 people in the African country.

Monrovia: Sierra Leone enforced on Thursday a new three-day curfew in an attempt to stop the spread of the Ebola virus, which has already killed nearly 3,700 people in the African country.

The curfew will go into effect starting March 27 until March 29, and will be similar to a curfew previously enforced by the government last September, according to a statement by the head of the National Ebola Response Centre, Palo Conteh, on Sierra Leone state radio.

The government is hopeful that the cases which have not yet been detected or registered can be discovered during the course of the curfew, Conteh said.

According to the latest report released by the World Health Organisation on Wednesday, Sierra Leone is the country most affected by the virus, with a total of 11,751 cases of Ebola.

In spite of the international support provided for Sierra Leone to fight Ebola, the state authorities still face difficulties to contain the virus, and hope that the curfew will help in their efforts, as September's curfew was thought to have been effective.

However, many citizens do not welcome the measure, such as 65-year-old Baimba Kamara who lives in the capital, Freetown.

"I can't understand the reason behind enforcing such (a) three-day lockdown, while the government took a similar step a few months ago. The health authorities do not encourage people to adhere by Ebola prevention protocols," Kamara said.

The government's strategy for facing the epidemic, which has negatively impacted the economy and development, has been widely criticised.

"We are still trying to find a solution to put an end to this virus," Johan Mambu, 28, said, noting that Ebola "is undermining the country's future".

So far, the epidemic has infected over 24,000 people in West Africa, and more than 10,000 of them died from Ebola.  

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