MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia’s president ordered most civil servants to stay home another month in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, according to a statement released Monday.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered non-essential workers not to come to work and promised that all government workers would still be paid.
Liberia’s schools are already closed in the effort to keep large numbers of people from gathering and potentially spreading the disease.
The World Health Organization says up to 20,000 people may contract the virus before it is put under control, and that it could take six months to do so.
More than 1,500 have died across West Africa from Ebola. Liberia has suffered the most deaths in the outbreak that has hit five West African countries. On Friday, Senegal announced its first case.
The WHO said a student from Guinea arrived in Dakar by road on Aug. 20 and was staying with relatives “in the outskirts of the city.” It said that on Aug. 23, he went to a medical facility seeking treatment for fever, diarrhea and vomiting, all symptoms of Ebola.
He was treated for malaria and continued to stay with his relatives before turning up at the Dakar hospital on Aug. 26.