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Thousands 'evade' Ebola lockdown in Sierra Leone

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Thousands 'evade' Ebola lockdown in Sierra Leone


Thousands of people have defied Sierra Leone’s three-day lockdown to combat the Ebola virus by crossing the border into Guinea without going through health controls.

Health officials in Guinea said people were coming “in waves” through the bush, fearing they would be taken away if they were found to have the disease.

Nearly 30,000 thousand health workers, teachers and volunteers are going house to house until Sunday to educate people about Ebola and isolate the sick.

A UN emergency response force to tackle the disease will be anchored in West Africa – with headquarters in Accra, Ghana and offices in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“As each day passes, more people die, many more are infected, and the demands of response and containment become exponentially greater. To get the crisis under control, all of us will have to work in unorthodox ways, break through barriers, and leverage the best that each of us can bring to bear. Speed is of the essence,” the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday.

In the Liberian capital Monrovia a Red Cross burial team was called in to remove the body of a man who had died from Ebola.

US troops are arriving this weekend to set up a command centre, while the EU has pledged more funds to help the country combat the disease.

Ebola has killed more than 2,600 people across West Africa this year, while more than 5,000 have contracted it.

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