Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone locks down three 'hotspots'

Sierra Leone's government says a nationwide lockdown revealed that an Ebola outbreak is worse than thought and ordered three more "hotspots" to be cordoned off.

Empty streets are seen during a three-day lockdown to prevent the spread on the Ebola virus, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Source: Associated Press

It warned that unless more is done, "the situation will rapidly deteriorate."

Yesterday, President Ernest Bai Koroma put Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba districts under "isolation," meaning only people delivering essential services can enter and circulate within these areas.

In other areas, including the capital, homes will be put under quarantine when cases are identified.

Two districts near the outbreak's epicentre were already under isolation.

The Ebola outbreak is believed to have sickened more than 6,200 people in West Africa, according to tolls published today by the World Health Organization. Nearly 3,000 deaths have been linked to the disease.