The Sierra Leonean government has banned public Christmas and New Year celebrations to prevent the spread of Ebola. Street celebrations will be prohibited and troops will be patrolling to ensure that all citizens remain inside their homes.
An announcement from Sierra Leonean Defense Minister Palo Conteh said, “There will be no Christmas and New Year celebrations this year. We will ensure that everybody remains at home to reflect on Ebola.”
Jarrah Kawusu-Konte, a spokesman of Sierra Leone’s president explained the reasoning for the ban in statement: “When you have parties, the risks are very high. We are very anxious to break the chain of transmission through parties and gathers,” he said.
Christian Today reports that Sierra Leone recently overtook Liberia to become the most infected country with Ebola outbreaks.
According to the new rules, citizens may not travel for Christmas so many will be unable to visit with family during the Christmas season. Nor will citizens be permitted to attend church under the guidelines.
Christian Today reports that while Sierra Leone’s Christian population is only 27 percent, Christmas is “widely celebrated.”
Publication date: December 16, 2014