Sierra Leone recorded 130 new cases of the Ebola virus during a three-day lock-down and it is waiting for test results on a further 39 suspected cases.
“There is a very strong possibility it (three-day lockdown) will be extended,” Stephen Gaojia, Head of the Emergency Operations Centre that leads the national Ebola response, said.
The country ordered its 6 million citizens to stay indoors for three days until Sunday night in the most extreme strategy employed by a nation since the start of an epidemic that has infected at least 5,357 people in West Africa since March.
A three-day lockdown in Sierra Leone aimed at stemming the worst Ebola epidemic on record has identified dozens of new infections, but has not reached everyone in the country and is likely to be extended, a senior official said on Sunday.
In one of the most extreme strategies employed since the epidemic began, Sierra Leone ordered its 6 million residents to stay indoors as volunteers circulated to educate households as well as isolate the sick and remove the dead.
“Even though the exercise has been a huge success so far, it has not been concluded in some metropolitan cities like Freetown and Kenema.”
Gaojia said 92 bodies had been recovered across the country by the end of Saturday, the second day of the lockdown.
Some 123 people had contacted authorities during the drive, believing they might be infected. Of these, 56 tested positive for Ebola, 31 tested negative and 36 were still awaiting their results, he said.
Ebola has infected at least 5,357 people in West Africa this year, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, killing 2,630 of those, according to the World Health Organization. At least 562 have died in Sierra Leone.