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West Africa feels knock-on effects of battle against Ebola

Published on Aug 10, 2014 11:11 PM
 
A man speaks on the phone at a call centre in the Liberian capital Monrovia, where people can report Ebola cases, on August 9, 2014. An emergency helpline set up by Liberia's Ebola taskforce to provide information on the virus had received 1,800 calls by Friday. -- PHOTO: AFP

FREETOWN (AFP) - West Africa was counting the cost of measures to contain the deadly Ebola epidemic on Sunday, as unprecedented restrictions caused snarled transport, food shortages and soaring prices.

"We are trying to cope," said Mr Joseph Kelfalah, the mayor of Kenema, an eastern district of Sierra Leone that is under strict quarantine along with nearby Kailahun, but said food prices were "escalating".

Under the country's Operation Octopus, some 1,500 soldiers and police have been deployed to enforce the quarantines, turning people away at checkpoints and accompanying health workers searching for people who may have contracted the virus.

"Only essential officials and food items are being allowed in after intensive searches," deputy police chief Karrow Kamara told AFP.

 
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