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Sierra Leone to ban Christmas, New Year parties to curb Ebola spread

  • Author:Jane
  • Release on:2014-12-26
DAKAR, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Sierra Leone plans to ban parties and other festivities over Christmas and New Year to reduce the risks of Ebola spreading further in the West African nation now with the most infections, a government spokesman said on Friday.

Sierra Leone is struggling to reduce the spread of the viral haemorrhagic fever as the death toll in West Africa continues to rise, fuelled in part by surging infections in the country.

Figures from the World Health Organization on Friday showed 6,583 people have died from the disease in three states in West Africa -- Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia -- out of 18,188 cases.

"The government is planning to keep people indoors during Christmas through Boxing Day and New Year," said Jarrah Kawusu-Konte, a spokesman for Sierra Leone's president.

He told Reuters that the government intended to deploy soldiers across the country to enforce the measure, which would include a ban on parties and other gatherings.

"When you have parties, the risks are very high. We are very anxious to break the chain of transmission through parties and gatherings," Kawusu-Konte said. He did not specify the date when the ban would take effect.