13 people detained for unsafe burials in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone

13 people detained for unsafe burials in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone
03:32 8 Aprel 2015
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Police in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown Tuesday detained 13 people for engaging in an "alleged unsafe and illegal burials," contrary to the country's Ebola legislation, Xinhua reported.

The Local Unit Commander Superintendent David Sama told the media that the 13 persons were caught after a tip-off from the public and led by a heavily armed police team went to the village where these "13 people were caught on the site with a coffin of a 50-year-old man who was about to be buried. They did not produce any burial certificate nor any documents related to the burials."

The funeral was put to a halt and all those in the cemetery were arrested and detained whilst the corpse was handed over to the burial team for burial. A police warrant for the arrest of the ambulance that brought the corpse has been issued.

The arrest and detention of these people comes about two weeks after the head of the Ebola Response Center issued a warning that "people engaged in illegal and unsafe burials risk are going to jail for 2 years with no alternative if caught."

Sama advised that in this time of Ebola "all burials should be handed over to the burial team for safe and dignified burials."

The "unsafe and secret burials" remain the biggest driver of the Ebola virus in the country, according to the Ebola Response Center.

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