Three Day Lockdown Begins In Sierra Leone To Slow Ebola

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A nationwide curfew is now underway in Sierra Leone. Everyone in the country, all 6 million people, are being required to stay in their homes for the next three days. Only essential health workers and security forces are allowed in the streets; they will be going door-to-door to distribute soap, find patients, and try to educate people about Ebola.

The government says it's hoping the lockdown will slow the spread of Ebola, which has already killed more than 2,600 people in West Africa.

But it's a controversial move, one that Doctors Without Borders says could jeopardize trust between people and health workers.

That has already been an enormous obstacle for officials trying to contain this Ebola outbreak — the worst in history.

In Guinea yesterday, the bodies of eight people, including health workers and journalists, were discovered in a remote village.

They had traveled there to raise awareness about Ebola; a government spokesman said they were killed by a fearful and hostile mob of villagers who believed they had come to spread the virus.

Here & Now's Robin Young gets the latest from Tomi Oladipo, a reporter with the BBC in Lagos, Nigeria.

Note: This BBC interview can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR app.


This segment aired on September 19, 2014.


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