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Liberia closed most of its borders on Monday in a bid to halt the spread of Ebola virus. The government decided to close the borders after a third doctor, who was working to contain the virus in West Africa, contracted the disease.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said only five entry points, including James Spriggs Payne Airport in Monrovia and Roberts International Airport– 50 kilometres further east, remained open News Agency Of Nigeria reports.
“Preventive and testing centres will be established at the five entry points for all outgoing and incoming travellers,” the president added. Mrs. Johnson -Sirleaf also announced restrictions on public gatherings and requested hotels, restaurants, entertainment centres and video clubs, to show educational Ebola prevention videos. According to the president, Liberia is planning to install facilities to wash hands in government facilities and public places across the country.
“Communities seriously affected by the Ebola outbreak will be quarantined,” she stressed. In Liberia, Kent Brantly, an American doctor working to stop the outbreak, was infected with Ebola and is being treated at an isolation centre. Mr. Brantly became the third doctor in less than a week to fall ill with the virus.
A Liberian doctor, Samuel Brisbane, died on Saturday at a clinic in Monrovia, while Sierra Leone’s leading Ebola specialist, Sheikh Umar Khan, became ill last week. World Health Organisation, WHO, officials said the current Ebola outbreak in three countries in West Africa – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – is the deadliest ever.
A report says as of July 20, the WHO says 1,093 cases have been confirmed while 660 people have died. The Nigerian Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, last week said a Liberian died after being hospitalised with Ebola in Lagos. Ebola causes massive haemorrhages and has a fatality rate of 90 per cent, while it is transmitted through blood and other body fluids.