(NEW YORK) -- As the worst-ever Ebola outbreak shows no sign of slowing, government officials have now resorted to desperate measures to stop the virus from infecting more people.
In Sierra Leone, the government will attempt to institute a 72-hour “lockdown” in order to give volunteers a chance to find Ebola patients and keep the deadly disease from spreading. The lockdown began Friday at midnight.
According to Doctors Without Borders, the Sierra Leone government has ordered the country’s six million residents to stay home for three days as volunteers conduct door-to-door Ebola screenings. However, the stringent lockdown may backfire, according to Doctors Without Borders.
"Without enough beds to treat patients who have Ebola we will fail to stop it spreading even further," Doctors Without Borders said. "What Sierra Leone and Liberia urgently need are more beds in case management centers, and they need them now."
The outbreak in West Africa has already infected more than 5,300 and killed more than 2,600 since it started in March, according to the World Health Organization. The Ebola outbreak is the worst ever, with more people infected and killed in six months than all other previous outbreaks from the past 38 years combined.
The hardest hit countries in West Africa include Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea and Senegal. Some countries have requested help from the international community and aid agencies after being overwhelmed by sick patients.
On Thursday, WHO chief Dr. Margaret Chan sounded the alarm about the outbreak, calling it “likely the greatest peacetime challenge” the United Nations agency has ever faced.
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