Sierra Leone Bans Public Christmas, New Year’s Celebrations To Stem Ebola Spread; U.N. Officials Call For Stronger Response

Los Angeles Times: Sierra Leone bans Christmas celebrations in bid to halt Ebola virus
“Authorities in Sierra Leone have banned public Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in a bid to halt the spread of Ebola, according to local news reports…” (Zavis, 12/12).

Reuters: Sierra Leone to ban Xmas parties, plans “surge” to curb Ebola spread
“Sierra Leone plans to ban parties and other festivities over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and to launch a ‘surge’ to cut the risk of Ebola spreading further in the West African country now with the most infections, officials said on Friday…” (Felix/Fofana, 12/12).

Reuters: Shock treatment: what’s missing from Sierra Leone’s Ebola response
“…Bruce Aylward, the head of Ebola response at the World Health Organization, said Sierra Leone was well placed to contain the disease — its worst outbreak on record — with infrastructure, organization, and aid. The problem is that its people have yet to be shocked out of behavior that is helping the disease to spread, still keeping infected loved ones close and touching the bodies of the dead…” (Miles, 12/15).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. envoy calls for “big surge” in efforts to reduce transmission rates in Sierra Leone
“… ‘We need to put in place a big surge to get those case numbers down [in Sierra Leone], and we’ve been working on implementing that surge in the last week,’ Anthony Banbury, head of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), said in a press release following his two-day visit to the country’s capital, Freetown, from 11 to 12 December…” (12/13).