February 13, 2015 / 6:00 PM / 5 years ago

Sierra Leone locks down part of capital after spike in Ebola cases

A health worker in protective gear walks inside a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone in this file photo taken on December 19, 2014. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

DAKAR (Reuters) - Sierra Leone has locked down a neighborhood in the capital Freetown following a spike in Ebola cases, in a setback for the country hardest-hit by the virus, an official in the government response team said on Friday.

Health workers were deploying to carry out house-to-house searches in Aberdeen, a district on the tip of the Freetown peninsula where dense slums lie a stone’s throw away from upscale restaurants and hotels popular with foreigners.

“There was a sudden spike in the number of cases. It’s effectively a quarantine there which would typically last 21 days,” said OB Sisay, director of the situation room in the National Ebola Response Centre.

The center’s most recent data showed six new confirmed cases of Ebola in Aberdeen on Wednesday.

He estimated there were between 1,200 and 2,000 people in Aberdeen who had potentially come into contact with individuals infected with the disease.

Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Joe Bavier

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