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The six-million residents of Sierra Leone now have a peace of mind this week now that the three-day lockdown to prevent the Ebola virus was declared a success on Sunday.

According to BBC, authorities lifted the ban that prevented men, women and children from leaving their homes. The controversial lockdown meant that many people were unable to work and provide for their families. Officials believed that the lockdown would help save more lives as the country is one of the worst affected by the Ebola virus.

The wide-ranging curfew ended at midnight on Sunday (GMT) and will not be extended, authorities said.

Sierra Leone has been one of the countries worst affected by the outbreak, with more than 550 of the almost 2,800 deaths so far recorded. Some health groups have criticized the lockdown, saying it would destroy trust between patients and doctors. The World Health Organization (WHO) says the situations in Senegal and Nigeria have been “pretty much contained”, reports the Reuters news agency.

In Nigeria, schools were reopened after the summer break was extended in light of the deadly virus. More beds were ordered for the people of Liberia, another country affected by the virus and a second deployment of U.S troops arrived in the country to help assist health services.

Since Sierra Leone’s lockdown over the weekend, over 130 new cases were discovered. Before the lockdown, 60 to 70 people with the virus were buried in the past two days.

The head of Sierra Leone’s Emergency Operations Centre Stephen Gaojia told the BBC that the lockdown exercise was largely successful, and that the compliance and receptiveness of Sierra Leoneans was “overwhelming”. He said 130 new cases had been confirmed, while results were still outstanding on 39 suspected cases. Health officials say that had these cases not been discovered, they would have helped spread the virus.

The total number of deaths in West African from the Ebola virus is 2,630. The number stems from the deaths recorded, probable and suspected.

SOURCE: BBC |  VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc.