Liberia imposes curfew to prevent further spread of Ebola

Liberia imposes curfew to prevent further spread of Ebola

Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:52AM GMT

The Liberian government has imposed a nationwide nighttime curfew in order to prevent the further spread of the deadly Ebola virus, which has plagued West Africa.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf imposed a curfew on Wednesday and quarantined two neighborhoods, including the Monrovia’s West Point slum, home to some 50,000 people.

“Commencing Wednesday, August 20 there will be a curfew from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am (2100 to 0600 GMT),” Sirleaf said during a radio address.

“We have been unable to control the spread due to continued denials, cultural burying practices, disregard for the advice of health workers and disrespect for the warnings by the government,” she said. “As a result and due to the large population concentration, the disease has spread widely in Monrovia and environs.”

The Liberian president also ordered all public entertainment areas to be closed.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s Information Minister Lewis Brown said late Tuesday that authorities in his country were considering tougher restrictions on movements than the curfew.

Brown also announced that 17 missing Ebola patients, who had fled a medical facility in West Point earlier this week after it was attacked by club-wielding men, had returned.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 1,230 people in African countries, including in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria have lost their lives as a result of the disease.

Liberia has the highest death toll, with 466 deaths from 834 diagnosed cases.

This comes a day after Cameroon announced its decision to close its borders with Nigeria.

The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces, or sweat. It can also be spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.

There is no licensed treatment for Ebola, which is a form of hemorrhagic fever, with diarrhea, vomiting, and internal, and external bleeding as its symptoms.

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