FREETOWN – Sierra Leone government on Thursday announced that it would impose a three-day lock-down across Freetown and in the north with a view to stemming Ebola epidemic.
The chief executive of the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC), Palo Conteh, told newsmen that the new round of lock-down is expected to be observed from March 27 to 29.
Conteh also said that it would be a repeat of the one observed September 2014 and expressed hopes that the lock-down would bring out unreported latent cases of the Ebola virus.
He said lock-down would be used to re- sensitise the public on precautionary measures as well as detect possible lines of transmission of the virus.
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“Recent hike in cases of the Ebola in the western area and the north have worried health workers in the country.
“Residents will be expected to stay at home throughout the three day period and all religious places would also be affected,’’ the NERC boss said.
Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma had called on traditional leaders to intensify their efforts to ensure the rate of the Ebola infection is brought to zero.
“The NERC officials are working intensively to bring the infection rate to zero to meet with the April deadline agreed by the Mano River Union Heads of State meeting in Conakry, Guinea.
“It will be recalled that the last three-day lock-down proved to be effective in highlighting extent of the disease,’’ said Conteh.
He reminded them that until the cases were down to zero for 21 days, Sierra Leone cannot be considered to be on the footing to start the journey towards being declared Ebola-free.
According to the World Health Organisation, the worst-ever outbreak of the virus has claimed almost 3,700 lives in Sierra Leone, one of the three West African countries that have been hardest hit by Ebola. (Xinhua/NAN)