Police and soldiers in Sierra Leone on Thursday, blockaded rural areas hit by the deadly Ebola virus.
A senior health official said, this has become imperative following the declaration of state of emergency by its neighbouring Liberia to tackle the worst-ever outbreak of the disease, which has killed 932 people.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson, declared 90 days state of emergency in the late Wednesday to combat an outbreak of Ebola.
She said with Liberian troops being deployed to quarantine badly hit communities, stressed that the state of emergency was necessary for “the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people”.
Johnson said the military deployment “Operation White Shield – was expected to be fully in place by Friday.
She said the epidemic, which has killed at least 282 people in Liberia alone, was spread through contact with bodily fluids of those infected.
“Ignorance and poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices, continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease,”she said.
Johnson said 32 health workers had already died of the disease and many sick people were going untreated after doctors deserted their posts.
She said schools across the country were shut last week and non-essential government workers temporarily laid off.
In the ramshackle, ocean-front capital, residents greeted the announcement with alarm.
Nancy Poure, a trader in the suburb of Johnsonville said, “This is the beginning of hardship, 90 days of fear and suffering.”
She called on American government to urgently come to their aid before it gets out of hands.
“We need help from America. We need help, this is urgent,”she said. (Reuters)