Sierra Leone has declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine victims of the Ebola virus as the death toll in West Africa rises..
With the highest number of cases, the country will now implement a series of crisis measures, to initially last 60 to 90 days.
Announcing the measures, Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma said: “The Ebola virus disease poses an extraordinary challenge to our nation. Consequently and in line with the Constitution of Sierra Leone, Act number six of 1991, I hereby proclaim a state of public emergency to enable us to take a more robust approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak.”
The US Peace Corps has been evacuating volunteer workers from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, after two of them came into contact with a person who later died of Ebola.
At Guinea’s Conakry airport, The World Health Organisation’s Director-General Margaret Chan voiced her solidarity before attending a regional summit to launch a multi-million dollar response plan.
Since February, Ebola, for which there is no known cure, has claimed at least 729 lives. Nigeria recorded its first Ebola case last week.
The latest measures were announced as a high-security hospital ward in the US city of Atlanta prepared to receive one or possibly two American aid workers, infected with Ebola while working in West Africa.