Eerie Photos Capture Sierra Leone's Desperate Attempt to Stop the Spread of Ebola

Source: AP
Source: AP

Sierra Leone's 6 million residents have been confined to their homes over the last three days as part of a nationwide lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of Ebola across the country.

Volunteers circulated throughout towns across the disease-ravaged country to educate households, quarantine the sick and remove the dead in what Reuters calls "one of the most extreme strategies employed since the epidemic began." Officials say the lockdown will likely be extended.

"There is a very strong possibility it will be extended," Stephen Gaojia, head of the Sierra Leone's Emergency Operations Centre told Reuters after meeting with President Ernest Bai Koroma. "Even though the exercise has been a huge success so far, it has not been concluded in some metropolitan cities like Freetown and Kenema."

Reuters reports that 92 bodies had been recovered so far, and some 123 people had contacted authorities over concerns they may be infected with Ebola. According to Reuters, "Ebola has infected at least 5,357 people in West Africa this year, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, killing 2,630 of those, according to the World Health Organization."

With the lockdown in place, Sierra Leone has become something of a ghost town, with anxious residents complaining of food shortages. Below, see some eerie photos from the country's unprecedented effort to combat the spread of Ebola:

Empty streets are seen during a three-day lockdown to prevent the spread on the Ebola virus, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP
An empty local market area is seen, as Sierra Leone government enforces a three day lock-down on movement of all people in a attempt to fight the Ebola virus, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP
Empty streets are seen during a three-day lockdown to prevent the spread on the Ebola virus, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Volunteers going door to door during a three-day lockdown intended to combat Ebola in Sierra Leone say some residents are growing increasingly frustrated and complaining about food shortages.
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP
A man travels along a street in his wheelchair during a three-day lockdown to prevent the spread on the Ebola virus in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP
Police guard a roadblock as Sierra Leone government enforces a three day lock down on movement of all people in an attempt to fight the Ebola virus in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP
Police guard a roadblock as Sierra Leone government enforces a three day lock down on movement of all people in an attempt to fight the Ebola virus, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP
A health worker volunteer walks past residents as they distribute bars of soap and information about Ebola in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP
A trader sits at an empty local market area in Waterloo, as Sierra Leone government enforces a three day lock down on movement of all people in an attempt to fight the Ebola virus, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP
A baby pig sleeps in front of an ambulance used at the Connaught Hospital as part of their Ebola virus fleet, during a three-day lockdown to prevent the spread on the Ebola virus in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sunday, Sept. 21,
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP
Healthcare workers, rear, clean Ebola virus prevention gear at the Hastings Police training school, used as a Ebola virus treatment center with over a hundreds beds in the village of Hastings, Sierra Leone, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.
Source: 
Michael Duff/AP

Editors Note: Mar. 3, 2015 

An earlier version of this article cited Reuters reporting, but did not include quotations around the cited passage. The story has been updated to fully attribute the Reuters' language.

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Jared Keller

Jared Keller is the former director of news at Mic.

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