Christmas and new year celebrations have been cancelled in Sierra Leone owing to the raging Ebola Virus Disease in the country.
The cancellation was announced on Friday by the government. The country recently overtook Liberia as the country with the highest number of Ebola cases after it recorded 1,319 new infections in the last three weeks.
Soldiers are to be deployed throughout the festive period to enforce the order barring people from venturing onto the streets, the government’s Ebola response unit said.
Palo Conteh, head of the department, told reporters in the capital Freetown there would be “no Christmas and New Year celebrations this year”.
“We will ensure that everybody remains at home to reflect on Ebola,” he said.
“Military personnel will be on the streets at Christmas and the New Year to stop any street celebrations,” he said, without saying which areas would be targeted.
A predominant Muslim population, the country has a very influential Christian minority.