The New Year has seen no let-up in the spread of Ebola, especially in Sierra Leone, where President Ernest Bai Koroma is asking people to observe a week of fasting and prayer.

The statistics are staggering.

Known cases globally have now exceeded 20,000 according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The death toll has risen to 7,905, the WHO said, with 317 deaths recorded since it last issued figures on December 24. Since then, Sierra Leone has accounted for 337 of 476 new laboratory-confirmed cases.

Suffering in the country comes despite quarantine orders to halt the relentless rampage of the virus.

Ebola’s impact on West Africa – where the outbreak has been mostly confined – is also economic.

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