Sierra Leone creates two year prison sentence for those hiding ebola victims
Sierra Leone's parliament has made the harbouring of Ebola victims a crime drawing a two-year prison sentence in an attempt to stop the spread of the deadly virus, the justice minister said today.
"The amendment is needed at this time taking into account the fact that when the 1960 ordinance was drafted and passed into law, a disease such as Ebola did not exist," Justice Minister Frank Kargbo told Reuters.
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has led to 1,427 deaths out of 2,615 known cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed.
In its latest update, the WHO reported 142 new laboratory-confirmed, probable or suspected cases of Ebola and 77 more deaths from four affected countries - Guinea, Liberia,Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
Earlier, the WHO said the scale of the world's worst Ebola outbreak had been concealed by families hiding infected loved ones in their homes and the existence of "shadow zones" that medics cannot enter. It is due to issue a global strategy plan towards the end of next week in Geneva.
Meanwhile, a British national living in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the Ebola virus and is currently being assessed by medical experts, the Department of Health has said.