FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — Authorities in an eastern district of Sierra Leone launched a two-week "lockdown" on Wednesday, hoping to halt the spread of Ebola after the area recorded seven confirmed cases in a day.
The lockdown will last until Dec. 23 in the diamond-rich Kono district in eastern Sierra Leone, said Emmanuel Lebbie, a local official.
The action is being taken after the district recorded seven confirmed cases on Tuesday. The decision was made by traditional rulers in the area including Paramount Chief Paul Jabbie Saquee of Tankoro Chiefdom, Lebbie said.
While people can move within the district, no one will be allowed to enter or leave, said Lebbie, who is the area's monitor for the Independent Media Commission.
More than 6,000 people have died from Ebola in West Africa over the last year, including more than 1,500 in Sierra Leone.
Earlier this year, authorities held a lockdown in the capital that kept people inside their homes for several days in a bid to stop Ebola's spread.
Also Wednesday, Sierra Leone's junior doctors continued their strike for a third day, seeking access to better medical care should they contract the Ebola virus.
The government's chief medical officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo, said he had toured the main government hospitals in Freetown and found "no disruption in the medical service." Although junior doctors are not working, senior doctors have reported for duty, he said.