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Four day 'lockdown' planned to halt spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone

People won’t be allowed out of their homes during the period of the lockdown, and over 20,000 people are being hired to enforce it.

Image: Shutterstock via Ebola

SIERRA LEONE, ONE of the countries worst affected by the Ebola crisis in west Africa, has announced a four day ‘lockdown’ to take place later this month, aimed at halting the spread of the disease.

It will begin on 18 September lasting until the 21st, a senior official in the President’s office said, according to Reuters.

Citizens won’t be allowed to leave their homes during the period in order to prevent the disease from spreading, and help health workers identify further cases.

“The aggressive approach is necessary to deal with the spread of Ebola once and for all,” Reuters quotes Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, an advisor on the country’s Ebola task-force as saying.

It’s planned 21,000 people will be recruited to enforce the lockdown.

Death toll

The World Health Organisation confirmed yesterday that the death toll from the Ebola epidemic has climbed above 2,000.

The deadly virus has claimed 2,097 lives out of 3,944 people infected in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, since emerging last December.

Nigeria has recorded another eight deaths out of 22 cases. At least 30 more people have died in a separate outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Results from safety trials for two prototype vaccines should be known in November, the WHO added.

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“If proven safe, a vaccine could be available in November 2014 for priority use in health-care workers,” it said in a statement.

No licenced vaccine or treatments exist for Ebola. A number, though, have been tested in animal models and shown promising results.

Includes reporting from AFP.

Read: British Ebola victim discharged from hospital following experimental treatment >

More: What is this new experimental drug treating Ebola patients? >

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Daragh Brophy

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