September 24, 2014

  New Emergency Measures Announced by His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma September 24, 2014

president koroma at the eu-africa summit photo

The new emergency measures announced by the President extend total quarantining to five of Sierra Leone's twelve districts, Port Loko and Bombali in the north and Moyamba in the south now joining the eastern districts of Kenema and Kailahun under total quarantine. In addition the President said that selected areas of three additional districts, Pujehun, Tonkolili and Kambia, along with the Western Area, which includes the capital, Freetown, will also be placed under quarantine.

The extent of the new quarantined areas highlights the fact that despite all the measures introduced thus far, Ebola has continued to spread. The predictions from the WHO, the CDC and others (see Ebola Chart) have been increasingly bleak, not only for Sierra Leone but for the other two severely affected countries, Guinea and Liberia. The announcement of the new quarantined areas is an implicit acknowledgement that the earlier quarantine was unsuccessful and thus the new quarantine may suffer the same fate unless additional steps are taken.

The announcement does not appear to have any significant additional steps. The President claimed success for the three-day ose-to-ose campaign but this is difficult to measure objectively. There is mention of establishing additional holding centers in the quarantined areas, which would be a positive development, but the President made no mention of timetables or funding or staffing of these. the President's speech in full