Sierra Leone: Govt imposes new restrictions as Ebola cases rise again

Freetown, Sierra Leone (PANA) - The Government of Sierra Leone has imposed new restrictions on movement of vehicles and people across the country, following a spike in the number of confirmed Ebola cases in the last two weeks, PANA reported from here on Saturday

Early in February, the government relaxed restrictions on movements and commercial activities when the country recorded the lowest infection rate since the outbreak of the disease in May 2014.

The restrictions were first imposed in August last year to prevent the spread of the virus countrywide.

PANA reported that the new restrictions, which were imposed on Friday night, will remain in force till the outbreak is contained.

They include prohibition of commercial vehicles offloading wares within the Western Area between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. (local time) and on boats taking off to sea or landing anywhere in the country between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m..

According to a government statement, it appears the new infections have been traced to activities within the maritime transport sector.

Chief Executive Officer of the National Ebola Response Centre, Paolo Conteh, blamed the spike in infection rates on the recently-released Audit report which indicted some Health Ministry officials for misappropriating billions of Leones in Ebola funds.

Conteh told PANA that the focus of health officials were now on the audit report, instead of the fight against Ebola.

Port Loko, Bombali and Kambia districts all in the north of the country and the Western Area which include the capital city of Freetown have in recent days recorded some significant number of Ebola infections.

Critics of government have blamed the recent upsurge in the number of those infected on complacency at all levels of the Ebola fight.

Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are worst hit by the Ebola crisis that has claimed over 9,500 lives.
-0- PANA SBA/SEG 28Feb2015

28 february 2015 17:11:45

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