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UN warns over Ebola as Sierra Leone lockdown begins


Sierra Leone

UN warns over Ebola as Sierra Leone lockdown begins

Sierra Leone has begun a three-day nationwide lockdown as it confronts a worsening Ebola outbreak.

Practically the entire 6 million population has been ordered to stay home while medical teams go door-to-door to screen for the virus.

The UN has declared the latest outbreak as a threat to international peace and security.

Across west Africa, the death toll has reached 2,630. A further 5,357 people are sick.

Ahead of the shutdown, people were busy stocking up on essential supplies.

Freetown resident Matilda Kamara said: “I have come to buy medication, food stuffs and all necessary things even water at home, so that me and my family will not go through these constraints because within the three days you will not have the opportunity to go out and do your shopping.”

Another local resident Mahawa Allieu said: “It is better to stay at home for three days, even 21 days, than to lose thousands of people in a single day, so to me I think is very important, it is necessary and it is called for.”

In Liberia, which is also seeing a rise in cases, a French nurse who contracted Ebola is still waiting evacuation to Paris.

Doctors Without Borders have criticised the delays in returning her home after she was hospitalised on Tuesday.

In southeastern Guinea, eight bodies have been found after an attack on a team educating locals on the virus.

The worst Ebola outbreak since the disease was identified in 1976 has struck Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.

The WHO warned on Thursday there were no signs yet of the outbreak slowing.

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