Sierra Leone Officially Declared Free of Ebola-7173

November 10th, 2015
Sierra Leone Officially Declared Free of Ebola-7173

Mass celebrations have broken out on the streets of Sierra Leone following an announcement from the World Health Organisation that confirmed the country is officially free from Ebola. There have now been no new cases for more than 42 days.

In the last 18 months, Ebola swept through communities, claiming almost 4,000 lives. On the 7th November, the WHO declared Sierra Leone officially Ebola-free, after 42 consecutive days passed without any new cases. Crowds had started to gather at midnight in the capital, Freetown, and people danced, sang and celebrated into the early hours.

The country has been savaged by the deadly virus and many have lost loved ones. Sierra Leone was one of the worst hit countries, with only Liberia recording more deaths.

Dr Oliver Johnson, who worked at a Freetown Ebola clinic and is a member of the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, said that there is a real sense of relief among medical professionals as well as members of the public and a hope that Ebola has been banished for good.

During a night of celebration, hundreds of people gathered around a large 600-year old cotton tree in the city centre. Many lit candles in memory of lost family members and friends and the celebrations were tinged with sadness.

The declaration comes 2 months after Liberia was proclaimed an Ebola-free country by the WHO.

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