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Liberia Lifts Ebola-Related Quarantine

  • VOA News

Monrovia, Liberia

Monrovia, Liberia

The Liberian government has lifted the quarantine it imposed on an impoverished Monrovia neighborhood in an attempt to contain the spread of Ebola.

The government on Saturday removed barricades around the seaside district of West Point. That move prompted celebrations from residents and led shopkeepers to reopen their stores.

Riot police clashed with residents when the government abruptly imposed the restrictions 10 days ago. Residents feared they would be cut off from supplies of food and water.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf ordered the West Point quarantine after residents stormed an Ebola health care center.

In another development, Guinea imposed a curfew in N'Zerekore, its second largest city, after residents ransacked a market. More than two dozen people were wounded.

Investigators say residents were confused by the health care workers' efforts to disinfect the market.

The World Health Organization says more than 1,500 people have died in the Ebola outbreak affecting Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.

On Friday, the U.N. health agency warned the six-month-old outbreak is escalating, with 40 percent of cases occurring within the past three weeks.

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.

The disease causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and uncontrollable bleeding through body openings, including the eyes, ears and nose. Previous outbreaks have had a death rate of up to 90 percent, but the fatality rate in the current epidemic is closer to 50 percent.

Some information for this report comes from AP and Reuters.