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Three Minutes Silence: Sierra Leone to Mark the End of Ebola

Sierra Leone will on Monday observe three minutes silence across to commemorate the end of the Ebola epidemic.

The whole nation is to observe a three-minute silence, the presidency has declared.

Monday November 7 marks exactly one year since the country was first declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The epidemic, which began in neighbouring Guinea in March 2014 later spread to Liberia and then Sierra Leone. According to WHO figures, Ebola claimed 11, 323 lives among 28, 646 people infected by the haemorrhagic fever disease.

Most of the cases and deaths were concentrated in the three neighbouring Mano River Union countries but there were isolated cases and deaths in other countries, including Nigeria, Mali, Spain, UK and the US.

Sierra Leone was one of the hardest hit by the epidemic, recording some 14, 124 cases and 3,956 deaths.

It was declared free of the virus for the second time on March 17 this year.

The government emphasised the need to remember not just those who lost their lives to the disease but also the unity of the nation to overcome the epidemic.

At exactly 11 AM, the whole country is expected to embark on a three minutes silence, with flags on government building lowering half mast, a statement signed by the Secretary to Sierra Leonean President, Ernest Bai Koroma, ordered.

Traffic flow will halt and lessons in schools and all other learning institutions will stop for the course of the period.

On a broadcast Government spokesman, Mr Agibu Jalloh said: “If you are driving, stop the vehicle for three minutes; if you are at the market buying or selling, stop for three minutes; anything you are doing, stop for three minutes”.

The three minutes silence will be followed by a televised nationwide address by the President who is expected to urge the nation to participate in ongoing post-Ebola recovery development initiatives

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