Via Politico SL: Sierra Leone blockades east of country.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of eastern Sierra Leone says they started “the complete blockading” of Kenema and Kailahun districts last night as a means to keep Ebola at bay in its epicentres.
Alfred Karrow-Kamara told Politico last night the blockade would last for between 60 and 90 days “as proclaimed by the president”, but that they would start with the first 50 days and see how that pans out.
In his address to the nation on 30 July declaring emergency measures, President Ernest Bai Koroma said “All epicenters of the disease will be quarantined; The police and the military will give support to health officers and NGOs to do their work unhindered and restrict movements to and from epicenters; localities and homes where the disease is identified will be quarantined until cleared by medical teams”.
Karrow-Kamara said “a large number of police and soldiers” were embarking on the operation which he said would seal off all the crossing points leading to and from the two districts which are the hardest hit by the outbreak.
He added that the troops, whose exact numbers he did not give, would eventually set up 16 checkpoints across the two districts as well as embark on patrols to ward off any attempt to use unconventional routes to breach the embargo.
The eastern regional police boss assured that “essential service vehicles” would be allowed to make it across.
Asked how those living in the districts would survive, Karrow-Kamara said foodstuff would be allowed provided the traders first registered their vehicles and businesses as such with the security forces.