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Sierra Leone: Ebola lockdown declared success


Sierra Leone’s three-day curfew aimed at containing the Ebola outbreak has been declared a success by authorities.

They say more than a million households were surveyed and 130 new cases discovered.

Sierra Leone is one of the countries worst affected by the outbreak, with nearly 600 of the almost 2,800 total deaths recorded so far.

Some health groups have criticized the lockdown, saying it would destroy trust between patients and doctors.

Nearly all of the deaths in the world’s worst Ebola outbreak have been recorded in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the situations in Senegal and Nigeria have now been “pretty much contained”.

Sierra Leone’s three-day curfew aimed at containing the Ebola outbreak has been declared a success by authorities

Sierra Leone’s three-day curfew aimed at containing the Ebola outbreak has been declared a success by authorities

According to the UN agency, the number of overall deaths from Ebola has risen to 2,793 and the disease remains “a public health emergency of international concern”.

The deadly virus is transmitted through sweat, blood and saliva, and there is no proven cure.

About 100 dead bodies believed to be of Ebola victims, which could otherwise have been secretly buried without homes being quarantined, were retrieved and buried, officials say.

Bodies of Ebola victims are highly contagious and their swift burial is considered key to containing the disease.

Many people have been reluctant to seek treatment for Ebola, on the basis that there is no cure, even though about half of those infected have recovered with the help of rest and rehydration.

Ambulances are in short supply, as are the isolation wards to look after patients, with almost all Ebola treatment centers confined to the east of the country.

There are also too few teams available to bury the dead, partly because of the social stigma attached to the role.

The curfew in Sierra Leone came into force on September 19, with the country’s six million inhabitants confined to their homes.

Around 30,000 medical volunteers travelled to affected neighborhoods to find patients and distribute soap.

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