Ebola Epidemic Forces President of Sierra Leone to Cancel Christmas

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma has cancelled all public celebrations of Christmas and New Year’s in an attempt to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

“I know that this is the festive season where Sierra Leoneans often celebrate with families in a flamboyant and joyous manner, but all must be reminded that our country is at war with a vicious enemy,” Koroma said after imposing travel restrictions on the West African nation.

Residents have been ordered to return home directly after church services on Christmas Day and New Year’s. All other public gatherings have been banned. Trading on Sundays and after noon on Saturday is also prohibited.

In addition, Koroma sent teams out to check every house in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, for Ebola-infected individuals.