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Liberia, Sierra Leone fight Ebola with blockades

The blockade has isolated affected areas, leading to the beginning of shortages.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Aug. 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

MONROVIA , Liberia, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Liberia's army is preventing residents of western regions of the country affected by the Ebola outbreak from traveling to the capital, Monrovia.

Blockades of roads were established Thursday after a state of emergency declaration. Neighboring Sierra Leone has also imposed a blockade of its eastern areas, where the disease is prevalent.

The affected Liberian counties, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi, rely on Monrovia for goods, and the blockade indicates these areas are cut off from travel and trade. A resident of Tubmanburg, a town in Bomi county, reported to a radio station that the supply of rice was already running low.

Soldiers were stationed on roads to prevent travel, including that of traders.

The state of emergency, declared by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, required "extraordinary measures for the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people."

The police chief of eastern Sierra Leone said a "complete blockade" of the Kenema and Kailahun districts was in force, adding, "No vehicles or persons will be allowed in or out of the districts," except those with food and medicine.

The virus-borne disease has killed nearly 1,000 people in West Africa this year, and the majority of recent deaths have come in Liberia.

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