Guinea has declared a 45-day “health emergency” in five regions in the west and south-west of the country over Ebola.
The restrictions include the quarantining of hospitals and clinics where new cases are detected, new rules on burials and possible lockdowns.
The Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013.
In January, the World Health Organization reported a steady drop in cases in the three epicenter countries.
Renewed concern has been triggered by fresh setbacks in these countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
President Alpha Conde said he was declaring “a reinforced health emergency for a period of 45 days in the prefectures of Forecariah, Coyah, Dubreka, Boffa and Kindia” in a statement published in national media.
The focus of the virus “has shifted to our country’s coastal areas”, he said.
He added: “Wherever the need may be, throughout this period, measures of restriction and confinement will be taken.”
It is a first for the country since the outbreak began, Reuters reported.
On March 27, Sierra Leone began a three-day nationwide lockdown sparked by fears the virus was making a comeback in some parts of the country.
The southwest region of Guinea borders northern districts of Sierra Leone that are focus areas for the lockdown there.
On Friday evening Guinea deployed security forces to its south-west in response to reports Sierra Leoneans were crossing the border to flee the operation, an official told Associated Press.
Sierra Leone government spokesman Theo Nicol said the two countries had agreed to police the border so people with Ebola symptoms did not cross.
Since the Ebola outbreak began more than 24,000 people in nine countries have been infected with the virus, and over 10,000 of them have died.
British scientists will trial a 15-minute blood and saliva Ebola test in Guinea.
The solar-powered, portable laboratory should deliver results six times faster than tests currently used in West Africa.
The researchers involved say faster diagnosis would increase the chances of survival and reduce transmission of the virus.
The trial will take place at an Ebola treatment centre in Conakry, Guinea.
Ebola is currently diagnosed by hunting for the virus’s genetic material in the blood of a patient.
The test requires dedicated laboratories that can keep the components of the test at very low temperatures.
Patients in Conakry will still have the proven test, but the new faster method will be trialed at the same time so the results can be compared.
The project, led by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, uses a mobile suitcase laboratory’.
It is portable, solar-powered and can be used at room temperature.
The project is being funded by the Wellcome Trust medical charity and the UK’s Department for International Development.
Dr. Val Snewin, the international activities manager at the Wellcome Trust, said: “A reliable, 15-minute test that can confirm cases of Ebola would be a key tool for effective management of the Ebola outbreak – allowing patients to be identified, isolated and cared for as soon as possible.
“It not only gives patients a better chance of survival, but it prevents transmission of the virus to other people.
“This pilot study is particularly promising because researchers have considered how to make the test suitable for use in remote field hospitals, where resources – such as electricity and cold storage – are often in short supply.”
Guinean authorities searching for a team of health workers and journalists who went missing while trying to raise awareness of Ebola have found several bodies.
A spokesman for Guinea’s government said the bodies included those of three journalists in the team.
They went missing after being attacked on Tuesday, September 16, in a village near the southern city of Nzerekore.
More than 2,600 people have now died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
It is the world’s worst outbreak of the deadly disease, with officials warning that more than 20,000 people could ultimately be infected.
The three doctors and three journalists disappeared after being pelted with stones by residents when they arrived in the village of Wome – near where the Ebola outbreak was first recorded.
One of the journalists managed to escape and told reporters that she could hear the villagers looking for them while she was hiding.
A government delegation, led by the health minister, had been dispatched to the region but they were unable to reach the village by road because a main bridge had been blocked.
On Thursday night, government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said eight bodies had been found, including those of three journalists.
Guinean authorities searching for a team of health workers and journalists who went missing while trying to raise awareness of Ebola have found several bodies (photo WHO)
He said they had been recovered from the septic tank of a primary school in the village, adding that the victims had been “killed in cold blood by the villagers”.
The reason for the killings is unclear, but correspondents say many people in the region distrust health officials and have refused to co-operate with authorities, fearing that a diagnosis means certain death.
Last month, riots erupted in the area of Guinea where the health team went missing after rumors that medics who were disinfecting a market were contaminating people.
Speaking on September 18, French President Francois Hollande said his country was setting up a military hospital in Guinea as part of his country’s efforts to support the West African nations affected by the outbreak.
Francois Hollande said the hospital was a sign that France’s contribution was not just financial, adding that it would be in “the forests of Guinea, in the heart of the outbreak”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on September 18 that more than 700 new cases of Ebola have emerged in West Africa in just a week, showing that the outbreak was accelerating.
The WHO said there had been more than 5,300 cases in total and that half of those were recorded in the past three weeks.
The Ebola epidemic has struck Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal.
A three-day lockdown is starting in Sierra Leone in a bid to stop the disease spreading.
The number of deaths from the Ebola virus in Guinea has passed 100, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) says.
It was “one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks we have ever dealt with” and could take another four months to contain, the WHO said.
The Ebola virus had now killed 101 people in Guinea and 10 in Liberia, it said.
Ebola is spread by close contact and kills between 25% and 90% of its victims.
Many West African states have porous borders, and people travel frequently between countries.
Southern Guinea is at the epicenter of the outbreak, with the first case reported last month.
The geographical spread of the outbreak is continuing to make it particularly challenging to contain – past outbreaks have involved much smaller areas.
The number of deaths from the Ebola virus in Guinea has passed 100 (photo Getty Images)
“We fully expect to be engaged in this outbreak for the next two to three to four months before we are comfortable that we are through it,” Keija Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general, said at a news briefing in Geneva, Reuters news agency reports.
The WHO said 157 suspected cases had been recorded in Guinea, including 20 in the capital, Conakry.
Sixty-seven of the cases have been confirmed as Ebola, it added.
In neighboring Liberia, 21 cases had been reported, with five confirmed as Ebola, the WHO said.
Mali had reported 9 suspected cases, but medical tests done so far showed that two of them did not have Ebola, it said.
Last week, Mali said it was on high alert because of fears of an outbreak of the tropical virus and it would tighten border controls.
Saudi Arabia has suspended visas for Muslim pilgrims from Guinea and Liberia, in a sign of the growing unease about the outbreak.
This is the first known outbreak in Guinea – most recent cases have been thousands of miles away in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola.
Ebola leads to haemorrhagic fever, causing muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in severe cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.
Guinea government officials say the Ebola virus has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of hemorraghic fever now believed to have killed nearly 60 people in the country.
Dozens of cases have been recorded since the outbreak began early last month.
There is no known cure or vaccine for the highly contagious Ebola virus.
Ebola is spread by close personal contact with people who are infected and kills between 25% and 90% of victims.
Ebola virus has been identified as the cause of a deadly outbreak of hemorraghic fever in Guinea
The World Health Organization (WHO) says outbreaks of Ebola occur primarly in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests,.
“We got the first results from Lyon yesterday [Friday] which informed us of the presence of the Ebola virus as the cause of this outbreak,” Sakoba Keita, chief disease prevention officer at the Guinean health ministry, told AFP.
“The Ebola fever epidemic raging in southern Guinea since February 9 has left at least 59 dead out of 80 cases identified by our services on the ground,” he said.
“We are overwhelmed in the field, we are fighting against this epidemic with all the means we have at our disposal with the help of our partners but it is difficult.”
Medical aid charity Medecins sans Frontieres said on Saturday it would strengthen its team in Guinea and fly some 33 tonnes of drugs and isolation equipment in from Belgium and France.