Sierra Leone vice president in Ebola quarantine asks country to pray

02 March 2015 - 15:39 By AFP
Kitted out in protective suits and four layers of gloves, South African recruits to a mission on the Ebola frontline in Sierra Leone go through their training paces at Helen Joseph Hospital in Westdene, Johannesburg. File photo
Kitted out in protective suits and four layers of gloves, South African recruits to a mission on the Ebola frontline in Sierra Leone go through their training paces at Helen Joseph Hospital in Westdene, Johannesburg. File photo
Image: MOELETSI MABE

Sierra Leone's Vice President Sam Sumana, who put himself into quarantine after one of his bodyguards died from Ebola, asked fellow-citizens to "have me in your prayers."

In a message relayed by the country's sole TV station, he also appealed to all those in contact with his late bodyguard "to report to health authorities for your status to be checked."

Sources at the vice president's office said this weekend that Sumana is not in danger but had decided to stay out of his office for the next 21 days and work from his home in the west of the capital.

Visitors to his lodge were stopped at the entrance by security guards and health officials on Sunday.

"Sorry, the Vice-President is not seeing anyone for the time being," said an armed guard while turning away small pockets of people.

A relative there told AFP he had spoken to Sumana earlier and that "he sounded very calm and cheerful."

Sierra Leone, which has registered some 3,400 deaths in the nine months since the Ebola outbreak spread across west Africa, had eased travel restrictions in January but this week reintroduced the measures as the number of new cases rose.

More than 9,500 people have died of the disease since the west African epidemic emerged in southern Guinea in December 2013.

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