Sierra Leone says it will confine people to their homes in a nationwide three-day shutdown later this month aimed at containing the Ebola epidemic threatening west Africa.
Pedestrians and vehicles will be barred from the country’s streets, except on essential business, for 72 hours starting from September 19.
“This will be strictly adhered to without exception,” government spokesman Abdulai Bayratay told AFP by telephone as he announced the quarantine plan.
“We intend to ensure that the dreaded disease is checked.”
The worst-ever outbreak of Ebola has claimed 491 lives in Sierra Leone, one of three countries at the epicentre of the epidemic which has so far killed more than 2,000.
Authorities in Freetown will use the three-day window to search out patients who have not come forward for treatment centres.
“Health workers as well as health-related NGO personnel will make house-to-house checks on homes for likely Ebola sufferers that relatives have hidden,” he said.
Bayratay said several new ambulances and up to 30 military vehicles would be arriving to help enforce, and make use of, the shutdown, which could be repeated if necessary.
A 7,000-strong patrol force including health workers, civil society activists and community members is to be set up to organise the quarantine plan, said a statement from the presidency in Freetown.
“Their mission will be to monitor and track contacts, as well as to identify people with Ebola symptoms in order to prevent its transmission,” the statement said.
“The decision was made to mobilise the entire population from September 18 to prepare for the confinement.”
The Sierra Leone quarantine plan was announced after the World Health Organisation said on Friday that the death toll from Ebola since the start of the year had topped 2,000.
The virus has so far claimed 2,097 lives out of 3,944 people infected in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the UN health body said. [AFP]
US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.
President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”
I WON THE ELECTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”
He won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more! https://t.co/Exb3C1mAPg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.
However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.
Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead
Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.
The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.
Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.
Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.
US Election Is Far From Over — Trump
Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.
“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.
“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.
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