[Ed. -Disorder increasing; see boldface passage.]
In a desperate bid to slow West Africa’s accelerating Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone ordered its 6 million people confined to their homes for three days starting Friday while volunteers conduct a house-to-house search for victims in hiding.
At an emergency meeting, meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council unanimously called the crisis “a threat to international peace and security” and urged all countries to provide experts, field hospitals and medical supplies. It was only the second time the council addressed a health emergency, the first being the AIDS epidemic.
And in Guinea, seven bodies were found after a team of Guinean health workers trying to educate people about Ebola was abducted by villagers armed with rocks and knives, the prime minister said. Among the dead were three Guinean radio journalists.
The disease, which has also touched Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal, is believed to have sickened more than 5,300 people and killed more than 2,600 of them, the U.N.’s World Health Organization reported. In a sign the crisis is picking up steam, more than 700 of those infections were recorded in the last week for which data is available.
During the lockdown in Sierra Leone, set to begin at midnight Thursday and run through Sunday, volunteers will try to identify sick people reluctant or unable to seek treatment. They will also hand out 1.5 million bars of soap and dispense information on how to prevent Ebola.