55 Released From Ebola Quarantine In Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone released 55 people from quarantine Wednesday after declaring them Ebola free.
The dozens of people were quarantined last month after two new cases of the virus were confirmed.
Sidi Yahya Tunis, spokesperson for public health emergency operations in the Sierra Leone ministry of health, said those release had been declared Ebola free by the World Health Organization.
Tunis said the Sierra Leone people should be reassured that no matter what, the country now has the means to control any new cases of the Ebola virus.
“These are people that were mainly close relatives to the index case. A good number of them also were involved with washing of the body and also taking part in the burial and funeral process of the index case,” he said.
Tunis said the people had been in quarantine for the past 21 days and had completed their 21-day incubation period.
He said health officials want to contact a number of people, perhaps about 50 from the northern town of Kambia, for testing because they are considered as high risk.
“While we discharged quite a huge number of close relatives and people who were involved with the funeral of the index case, we also have quite a good number of relatives and people she shared apartment with when she visited Kambia District. So, these people we are still searching for because we want to be sure that we have eliminated every risk that is still out there,” Tunis said.
He said while Sierra Leone is not rejoicing for this somewhat temporary victory, it at the same wants to reassure the people that it now has the means to control any new cases of the Ebola virus.
“This was not really about celebration. This was more about reassuring the people that no matter what the situation is, at least now we have what it takes to contain and control incidences of EVD (Ebola virus disease) in our country, and this was a classic example,” Tunis said.