World Africa

Liberia imposes Ebola quarantine and curfew in a Monrovia slum

President of Liberia declares curfew in Monrovia slum where looters broke into Ebola clinic over the weekend

Liberia's president declared a curfew and ordered security forces to quarantine a slum in Monrovia that is home to at least 50,000 people late Tuesday as the West African country battled to stop the spread of Ebola in the capital.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf announced a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Security forces also will be ensuring that no one enters or leaves West Point, a slum in the capital where angry residents attacked an Ebola observation center over the weekend.

Johnson-Sirleaf declared a state of emergency early this month.

"We have been unable to control the spread due to continued denials, cultural burying practices, disregard for the advice of health workers and disrespect for the warnings by the government," she said. "As a result and due to the large population concentration the disease has spread widely in Monrovia and environs."

"May God bless us all and save the state," she later said.

Over the weekend, West Point residents angry about the placement of an Ebola center there looted the facility and 37 patients who were supposed to be under surveillance left. Health officials said that they all later returned.

At least 1,229 people have died of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the current outbreak, and more than 2,240 have been sickened, according to the World Health Organization. The fastest rising number of cases has been reported in Liberia, with at least 466 dead.

Earlier Tuesday, Liberia's Ministry of Health reported that some regions had "absolutely no body bags" and that bodies were awaiting burial because of the shortage.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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