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Ebola outbreak 2015: Sierra Leone VP Samuel Sam-Sumana in quarantine

Sierra Leone Vice-President Samuel Sam-Sumana has put himself into quarantine after one of his bodyguards died from Ebola.

Samuel Sam-Sumana said he would stay out of contact with others for 21 days as a precaution.

There was optimism the Ebola virus was on the decline in Sierra Leone at the end of 2014 but there has been a recent increase in confirmed cases.

Nearly 10,000 people have died in the outbreak, the vast majority in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Samuel Sam-Sumana said on February 28 that he had chosen to be quarantined to “lead by example” after the death of his bodyguard, John Koroma, last week.

He told Reuters that he was “very well” and showing no signs of the illness, but said he did not want to “take chances”.

The vice-president’s staff has also been placed under observation.Sierra Leone VP Samuel Sam Sumana Ebola quarantine

Samuel Sam-Sumana is Sierra Leone’s first senior government figure to subject himself to a voluntary quarantine.

Officials in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have pledged to achieve zero Ebola infections within the next two months.

But authorities in Sierra Leone have reinstated some restrictions in the country after a recent spate of news cases.

Of 99 cases recorded in the region in the week beginning February 16, 63 were in Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.

The government in the capital, Freetown, said it was gravely concerned about the new cases.

It said many of them had been connected with maritime activities and checks on ferries and other vessels had been increased in response.

President Ernest Bai Koroma has also ordered public transport operators to reduce capacity by 25% to limit physical contact between passengers.

In all, more than 23,500 cases have been reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since the world’s worst outbreak began in December 2013.