Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The State Department on Thursday ordered family members of U.S. embassy staffs in Freetown to leave the Sierra Leone capital as healthcare services have deteriorated due to the Ebola outbreak in the West African country.
The evacuation was ordered on the recommendation of the Department’s Medical Office, which found that routine healthcare services are lacking at major hospitals in Freetown, according to State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.
Harf declined to tell how many Americans are to be evacuated.
She said the U.S. will continue to support Sierra Leone in containing the Ebola outbreak.
Family members of U.S. embassy employees in Monrovia, Liberia were also ordered to evacuate last month. Liberia, along with Guinea and Nigeria, are four African countries where the Ebola outbreak has spread since the first infection from the deadly virus was confirmed in March.
The Medical Office has yet to recommend if a similar evacuation should be ordered for family members of embassy staffs in Guinea.
American volunteers from the Peace Corps and missionary groups in Liberia have evacuated as the Ebola crisis worsened. The death toll from the outbreak is 1,069, according to the World Health Organization.