EBOLA.ARMY
Liberian soldiers check people travelling in Bomi County. Liberian troops set up Ebola roadblocks and stopped public access to some of the worst-hit towns after the country declared a state of emergency to tackle the worst outbreak of the disease on record.REUTERS

Liberia is continuing its efforts to track down 17 suspected Ebola carriers who fled quarantine at the weekend rampage by a mob at West Point, a large slum in Monrovia.

After initial denials by the government, Liberia's Information Minister Lewis Brown told the BBC that 17 of 37 inmates from the quarantine centre had gone "back into their communities".

At Monrovia, police awaited a consignment of protective equipment before redeploying to West Point and reopening the quarantine centre attacked on Saturday.

People at the slum were angry that the centre had brought infected people into their community, claiming that West Point had no Ebola.

The World Health Organization has urged countries affected by Ebola to conduct exit screening at international airports, seaports and land crossings.

"Any person with an illness consistent with (Ebola) should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation," the WHO said.

Biggest treatment centre opened
Meanwhile, the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has opened the biggest treatment centre with 120 beds in the ELWA hospital on the outskirts of Monrovia, with plans to scale up further to 300 beds.

A team of 11 Ugandan healthcare workers have opened another treatment centre in the JFK hospital in Monrovia with 34 beds, Brown told Reuters.

In a reflection of the alarming situation in Liberia, the deputy army chief of staff, Colonel Eric W Dennis, had issued orders to soldiers to shoot at people attempting to cross into Liberia.

Five of the 12 infected Nigerians are on way to recovery, according to the government.

However, the situation in Sierra Leone is getting worse with Ebola spreading to 12 of its 13 districts, according to the UN's chief coordinator there. The country has at least 810 cases with 348 deaths so far.

Sierra Leone struggling
The hardest-hit districts, Kailahun and the diamond trading hub of Kenema, have been sealed off with around a million people quarantined.

Soaring food prices are pushing the region towards a crisis, reports AFP.

Local doctors and nurses have a big fight on their hands to win the trust of locals who believe that Ebola is a western conspiracy against traditional African communities. They believe the health care workers are part of this.

The increasing deaths have succeeded in convincing the public that Ebola is real but lack of awareness on how the disease spreads still plays a big role in spreading the virus.

The MSF is using survivors to tell their tale and spread the word that treatment centres are not just "a place where people go to die". People are being assured that treatment centres take care of them and give them food and medicines.

The death toll from the present Ebola outbreak stands at 1,145.