Guinea deploys police as Sierra Leoneans flee Ebola lockdown
Guinea has deployed security forces to the country’s southwest in response to reports that people from Sierra Leone are crossing the border to flee an Ebola lockdown intended to stamp out the deadly disease.
Officials in Guinea say residents reported tension resulting from a large influx of Sierra Leoneans in recent days. The lockdown went into effect Friday and ends Sunday.
One Guinean resident says those fleeing Sierra Leone aren’t wanted and asks: “Why would they leave their country if they didn’t have Ebola?” Another resident says security forces had to intervene to prevent clashes last night between those coming into Guinea and locals.
The southwest region of Guinea borders northern districts of Sierra Leone that are focus areas for the lockdown. A spokesman for Sierra Leone’s government says the two countries had agreed to police the border to ensure people with Ebola symptoms did not cross.
Ebola has infected nearly 12,000 people in Sierra Leone, more than any other country. The latest weekly total of 33 confirmed cases is the lowest since last June.