Sierra Leone has instructed its six million residents to stay home for three days, starting Friday and ending Sunday, in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola.
During that time, volunteers will visit homes to try to find victims who haven't been to a doctor yet, and to also distribute 1.5 million bars of soap and brochures on preventing infection. They are expected to find several new patients, The Associated Press reports.
Before the lockdown began, people were scrambling to stock up on food and other necessities. In a country where many live on $2 a day or less, residents were worried about not being able to earn an income while staying inside. "If we do not sell here we cannot eat," Isatu Sesay, a vegetable seller in Freetown, told AP. "We do not know how we will survive during the three-day shutdown."
On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting, where it called Ebola "a threat to international peace and security." The Security Council asked all countries to send supplies and experts to help combat the outbreak, which so far has killed at least 2,600 people in West Africa. In Guinea, the bodies of a team of health workers and radio journalists were discovered, days after being kidnapped by armed villagers. Several health workers have been attacked by fearful villagers who do not trust outsiders.