As authorities stepped up the fight to contain the Ebola epidemic, the lock down in the northern Tonkolili district of Sierra Leone has been extended for two weeks. The government has also imposed additional screening measures at Freetown International Airport after two workers apparently caught the deadly disease.
District Coordinator Salieu Bah said, "More than 70 cases of the virus had been confirmed in Tonkolili during a five-week locked down there ordered by local authorities. The lock down is extended for another two weeks to intensify monitoring efforts by all sectors in the district as we need this mopping up operation until January 17. People had been reluctant to comply with health rules such as late reporting of suspected Ebola cases and undertaking secret burials."
The National Ebola Response Center (NERC) detected and confirmed a case of Ebola involving a person who worked at the airport up to mid-December but had not worked since that time. Nerc also reported that another airport employee who had been in contact with the person has not come to work since Christmas Day. Due to these developments, additional measures have been put in place to enhance robust screening which include documentation of employees temperatures at the airport front gate and entry to the terminal. Health Minister Dr Abubakarr Fofanah said, "Screening of workers at the airport in Freetown will now be done on a 24-hour basis to detect any suspicion of Ebola on a worker or traveler."