FREETOWN, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Freetown, the capital and the entire Sierra Leone was on Monday like a "ghost town" as residents of the west african state observed a one day "Stay Home" proclaimed by the President for people to "reflect, pray and educate" family members on the Ebola virus.
All shops and offices were closed for stock taking on the disease, traffic was at a stand still with no vehicle movement except essential staffs who were going around sensitizing the people on the dangers of the disease. All radio stations throughout the country including the national broadcaster dedicated the entire day on educating and sensitizing its listeners on the disease.
In a radio broadcast on Monday, the President reminded his compatriots that "I declared today a national stay at home day for family reflection, education and prayers on the outbreak of ebola.
He said "we set up this day because of our conviction that as a nation of families, the family is the key to our fight against the ebola disease". He said as a government they have scaled up the fight and so asked his compatriots to scale his or her effort against the ebola disease.
"In this fight if every single individual or community or town fails to act, the risk to our society will increase." This is why the Head of State urged his people that whoever is informed must "educate every other member of the family".
He went further to say "it is very necessary to get those with the virus to the treatment center not only to prevent others from contracting the virus but also increases their chances of survival".
To see the effect of the proclamation by the President, Xinhua together with other correspondents hired a vehicle to the headquarter of the south, Bo, and observed that the 260 kilometres was completely abandoned, there was no vehicle on the road except health workers or small gatherings of four or five as the car went by.
The Mayor of Bo city, Harold Tucker welcomed the proclamation by the President for people to stay at home. He noted that the idea has helped educate the unbelieving citizens that ebola is real.
Meanwhile, as of Tuesday, the Health Ministry has recorded 570 cases of the disease of which 211 have died and 159 have survived.
In a related development, the Football Association has postponed all football activities in the country, which to very large extent will affect the nations participation in the African Nations Cup Qualifiers.