The residents of Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba districts have been quarantined with immediate effect on the orders of the Sierra Leonean president, Ernest Bai Koroma. These are areas that are hotspots for the Ebola virus disease within the country, and the total population of the quarantined area is about a million people which makes for nearly a third of the country’s population.
According to the Sierra Leonean president, he needed to impose the quarantine after consulting with other national stakeholders and international advisers, and the decision is for the overall good of the people. President Bai Koroma stated in a televised TV and radio broadcast that about 14 districts across the northern and southern parts of the country would be placed under curfew to allow for dealing with the disease and curbing its spread.
The president also noted that areas that are not currently under quarantine will be set up for monitored travels and movements, while areas under quarantine would be under a 9-5 curfew. People travelling within the quarantined areas or moving to the isolated areas will also be closely monitored to ensure that they do not contract the deadly Ebola disease or even transmit it outside of the region.
According to President Bai Koroma, this quarantine would “definitely pose great difficulties for our people in these districts, but the life of every one and the survival of our country take precedence over these difficulties.” About 2,000 people have died of Ebola across all West Africa since it broke out sometime ago, and international communities continue to seek appropriate ways to respond and contain the deadly epidemic virus.