Liberia’s government has imposed a nationwide night curfew in an effort to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, state radio said.
Lewis Brown, Liberia’s information minister, told the Reuters news agency that the authorities were considering even tougher restrictions on movements in addition to a 9pm-6am curfew.
The epidemic of the hemorrhagic disease has killed nearly 1,300 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and has also affected Nigeria. Between August 14-16, Liberia recorded the most new deaths, 53, followed by Sierra Leone with 17, and Guinea with 14.
The World Health Organisation said it was working with the UN’s World Food Programme to ensure food delivery to one million people living in Ebola quarantine zones cordoned off by local security forces in a border zone of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“Providing regular food supplies is a potent means of limiting unnecessary movement,” it said in a statement.
Besides infection in border zones, Liberia is fighting to stop the spread of the virus in the poorest neighbourhoods of its capital, such as the West Point slum where at the weekend a rock-throwing crowd attacked and looted a temporary holding centre for suspected Ebola cases, 17 of whom fled.
“We are glad to confirm that all of the 17 individuals have been accounted for and have now been transferred to JFK Ebola specialist treatment centre,” Brown said.
He also said that after meetings with religious and community leaders, a task force was being set up to go door to door through West Point, a labyrinth of muddy alleys, to explain the risks of the disease and the need to isolate infected patients.