by Matthew Champion
All public Christmas celebrations in Sierra Leone have been cancelled to help stop the spread of Ebola, it has been announced.
The government’s Ebola response unit said soldiers would be deployed on the streets to prevent people from gathering to celebrate Christmas, without providing further details.
Sierra Leone is a predominantly Muslim country but Christmas is still widely marked.
“We will ensure that everybody remains at home to reflect on Ebola,” said Palo Conteh, the head of the response unit, according to Awoko newspaper.
Today the World Health Organisation said that by Wednesday there had been 18,188 cases of Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – by far the three worst-affected countries – and 6,583 deaths.