|Posted by RCG-SL on September 25, 2014 at 1:40 PM|
Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has widened a quarantine to include another one million people in an attempt to curb the spread of Ebola.
The northern districts of Port Loko and Bombali and Moyamba in the south have been sealed off immediately.
Nearly 600 people have died of the virus in Sierra Leone and two eastern districts have been isolated since the beginning of August.
The move follows a three-day nationwide lockdown that ended on Sunday night.
New figures released by the UN World Health Organization show that 2,917 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea worst affected.
Two eastern districts have already been isolated and the extension of the indefinite quarantine means more than a third of Sierra Leone's 6.1 million population now finds itself unable to move freely.
During Sierra Leone's three-day curfew, more than a million households were surveyed and 130 new cases discovered, the authorities say.
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President Koroma said the move had been a success but had exposed "areas of greater challenges", which was why other areas were being quarantined.
Only people delivering essential services can enter and circulate within areas under quarantine.
In a televised address, the president acknowledged that the blockade would "pose great difficulties" for people.
"[But] the life of everyone and the survival of our country take precedence over these difficulties," he said.
According to WHO, the situation nationally in Sierra Leone continues to deteriorate with a sharp increase in the number of newly reported cases in the capital, Freetown, and its neighbouring districts of Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba, which are now under quarantine.