The hesitation in the population to believe Ebola was real caused some infected victims to hide in their homes or even flee treatment centres, thus infecting family members and local caregivers.

“State of (Health) Emergency”

The Government declared a “State of (Health) Emergency” on the 31st of July 2014, hoping to gain control over the spread of the virus. Measures included the prohibition of traditional funeral ceremonies and the conduction of initiation rites by secret societies, closure of local markets and other public meeting points, closure of schools, bans on workshops, business meetings and group gatherings of any kinds, and formulation of local bye-laws to regulate the social interaction of community members and avoid cross-travelling of strangers. Road control measures to restrict travel and trade came into effect with police and military force and checkpoints set up along all major roads, curfews were put in place to restrict travelling times, and both vehicles and passengers required permits to travel within the country.

The proclamation of a state of emergency created further insecurity around the national socio-economic framework conditions, with many foreign investors leaving the country.