Ebola epidemic: Sierra Leone imposes national lockdown to contain disease

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Sierra Leone residents are stocking up on food and fuel as the country enters a government enforced three-day lockdown that starts on Friday.

The Sierra Leone government issued the lockdown as a radical step to try and contain the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people in the region.

People will be confined in their homes across the country as more than 7,000 volunteer health workers are dispatched door-to-door to educate people about the virus and identify patients.

Organizations like Doctors Without Borders are skeptical that the lockdown will halt the spread of the virus, saying that the drastic measure will jeopardize the trust between people and their health providers.

“What you don’t want to do is actions that make the population lose more trust in you,” David Heymann, a member of the team that first identified the virus near the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola river in 1976, said in a Guardian report. “Trying to cordon off an area isn’t rational unless you can enforce it 100 percent. It’s not dealing with the problem the way we know how to do it.”

A lockdown last month in West Point, a neighborhood in Liberia’s capital Monrovia, resulted in days of riots.


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Maddie Thomas says:

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