A three-day lockdown meant to contain the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone ended late Sunday night with officials hailing it as a “huge success” after health workers found almost 100 victims who perished from the disease and another 56 who have been infected.
The head of the Emergency Operations Center leading Sierra Leone’s Ebola response, Stephen Gaojia, called the lockdown “a huge success,” Reuters reports. About 123 people had contacted authorities by Sunday morning thinking they might be infected; 56 tested positive for the virus, 31 negative and 36 were still awaiting results.Final numbers will only be released once information is compiled from around the country.
The lockdown was one of the most aggressive containment strategies to be employed so far in the growing effort to contain the worst Ebola outbreak in history, which has killed more than 2,600 people across West Africa. Sierra Leone ordered its six million residents to stay indoors for three days, while 30,000 health workers, volunteers and teachers circulated, educating households on how to prevent the spread of the disease.
Health Minister Abubakkarr Fofanah told AFP that volunteers had managed to reach about 80% of homes and said: “Although this campaign has ended, there is a possibility we would have a similar one some other time.”