Sierra Leone on Friday began a three-day national curfew to gain control over an Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 2,600 people in West Africa.
Citizens are being confined to their homes from September 19 to 21, while health workers go from door to door to identify and trace Ebola cases and educate people about the deadly virus.
"We need to restrict movement for us all to avoid body contact," government spokesman Abdulai Baratay told dpa.
The humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) criticized the measure, saying quarantines could prompt people to hide potential Ebola cases and spread the disease further.
"It has been our experience that lockdowns and quarantines do not help control Ebola as they end up driving people underground and jeopardizing the trust between people and health providers," said MSF.
What is urgently needed in the affected countries is additional equipment and health workers to tackle the epidemic, the organization said.
Ebola causes massive haemorrhaging and is transmitted through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. If left untreated, it has a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent.