Ebola scare for Sierra Leone′s vice president | News | DW | 01.03.2015
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Ebola scare for Sierra Leone's vice president

Sierra Leone's vice president has put himself into quarantine after one of his bodyguards died from Ebola. It comes as the country experiences a hike in infections.

Samuel Sam-Sumana put himself into precautionary quarantine following the Ebola death of one of his bodyguards, the Sierra Leonean government said late on Saturday.

The bodyguard, 42-year-old John Koroma, died on Friday. The vice president says he is in good health.

"I have decided to be put under quarantine because I do not want to take chances, and I want to lead by example," Sam-Sumana told news agency Reuters.

"I am very well and showing no signs of illness."

It's understood Sam-Sumana (above right) would work from home over the next 21 days. He is due to become acting president later on Sunday when President Ernest Bai Koroma (above left) heads to Belgium for an EU conference on Ebola.

Late on Friday, Koroma reinstated a number of restrictions in response to a rise in Ebola cases in Sierra Leone - 18 in the last week - breaking a trend of declining numbers.

A nighttime ban has been put into force limiting the movements of water transport, along with restrictions on ferries and the off-loading of goods from commercial vehicles. Naval vessels will carry out patrols.

"The common denominator in the new cases is involvement with maritime activities," the presidency said in a statement.

There will also be limits in the number of passengers allowed in taxis and other public transportation vehicles.

The World Health Organization says just over 9,600 people have died from the latest year-long outbreak of the Ebola virus. Sierra Leone has experienced almost half the total 23,729 recorded cases, while Liberia has registered the highest death toll at 4,047. More than 2,000 people have died in Guinea.

Two weeks ago, Sierra Leonean auditors announced that some $19.5 million (16.9 million euros) had gone unaccounted for from domestic funds set aside to fight Ebola.

jr/gsw (AP, dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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