20 August 2014

Liberia: Govt Imposes Curfew and Quarantine Restrictions in Bid to Halt Ebola

Photo: FrontPageAfrica
Police officers patrolling central Monrovia.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaaf has ordered a nighttime curfew in an attempt to curtail the spread of the Ebola virus. The move comes in addition to the earlier imposition of a state of emergency.

In a radio address late on Tuesday, President Johnson Sirleaf announced a nighttime curfew that would begin Wednesday, as well as the quarantine of two neighborhoods.

"Commencing Wednesday, August 20 there will be a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. (2100 to 0600 UTC)," Sirleaf said. "All entertainment centers are to be closed. All video centers are to be closed at 6 p.m.," she added.

In addition, it was announced, the communities of West Point in Monrovia and Dolo Town in Margibi county were to be placed under full security watch, with no movement in or out.

The Liberian government earlier announced that 17 people who fled a holding center for suspected Ebola cases had been found. The patients had run away from the center in West Point after it was attacked and looted at the weekend, sparking a major scare about the possible further transmission of the virus.

Liberia's Ebola death toll is 466 and rising the fastest of the four West African nations most affected, alongside Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. In total, World Health Organization (WHO) figures show that 1,229 people have died of the hemorrhagic disease - which under the worst conditions can kill up to 90 percent of those it infects - this year to August 16. WHO put the total number of cases of Ebola so far at 2,240.

rc/se (AFP, AP)

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