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Ebola

Sierra Leone restricts travel into 3 Ebola 'hotspots'

On Thursday, Sierra Leone restricted travel into and within three Ebola "hotspots."

The locations in question — the Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba districts — are collectively home to 1.5 million people. With the new restrictions, more than a third of Sierra Leone's population has been quarantined, The Associated Press reports.

Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma announced the isolation on Wednesday night, saying that only people "delivering essential services" will be allowed to enter the region, AP reports. The World Health Organization believes that the districts in question have seen a recent rise in Ebola infections. Sierra Leone itself has been hit particularly hard by Ebola.

"There is a desperate need to step up our response to this dreaded disease," the Sierra Leone government said in a statement. "The prognosis is that without additional interventions or changes in community behavior, the numbers will increase exponentially, and the situation will rapidly deteriorate."

WHO estimates released Thursday put the death toll from the current Ebola outbreak at more than 2,900, out of over 6,200 people infected.