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Sierra Leone eases restrictions as Ebola danger ‘recedes’



Ebola virus

Sierra Leoneans can go to sporting events and nightclubs for the first time in more than a year, after health officials declared there had been progress in rolling back a deadly epidemic of Ebola.

The measures “are no longer deemed necessary at this stage of the fight against Ebola,” President Ernest Bai Koroma announced Friday.

However, Koroma warned: “The easing of restrictions is not a sign that Ebola is over. It is not. The risk has receded, but Ebola has not fully retreated.”

People in the west African country will now be allowed to attend public gatherings and take part in “general activities”, Koroma said.

But the president reminded businesses to continue observing “all Ebola prevention protocols, including temperature screening of employees and customers and the prevention of overcrowding”.

Ebola has claimed around 11,300 lives since late 2013, nearly 4,000 of them in Sierra Leone.

In its latest update, the health ministry listed four confirmed cases of the highly contagious hemorrhagic fever nationwide with only two transmission chains.

Nine of the country’s 14 districts have not recorded a confirmed case in more than 110 days.

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