No new infections within a 42-day period amounts to two incubation cycles of the Ebola virus.
People in the West African country took to the streets to celebrate the end of a one-and-a-half-year fight against the virus and lit candles in memory of the victims.
A WHO statement said:
“Sierra Leone achieved this milestone through tremendous hard work and commitment while battling the most unprecedented Ebola virus disease outbreak in human history.”
WHO representative Dr Anders Nordstrom who spoke at the ceremony attended by Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma, said Ebola has infected more than 8,700 people in Sierra Leone since the first case was recorded in May 2014 and added:
“We now have a unique opportunity to support Sierra Leone to build a strong and resilient public health system ready to detect and respond to the next outbreak of disease or any other public health threat.”
Around 3,600 people died from the virus in total, 221 of them healthcare workers.
Thousands of people gathered overnight around the Cotton Tree, a massive tree in the centre of Freetown, for a candlelit vigil organised by women’s groups to pay tribute to health workers who lost their lives.
Source: Daily Sabah
Photo Credit: AP