A Sierra Leone official said the government is cautiously optimistic the country will successfully complete a new 42-day countdown to be declared Ebola-free without any setback.

The country began the new countdown Saturday after discharging its last two known patients from the International Medical Corps Treatment Center in Kambia District.

Sierra Leone’s hopes of being declared Ebola-free were dashed last August when a 67-year-old woman died in Kambia days after it began the first 42-day countdown.

Abdulai Bayraytay, national publicity and outreach coordinator in the office of Sierra Leone’s government spokesman said the government is intensifying its appeal to the public not to compromise on the measures intended to contain the Ebola virus.

“We are very much cautiously optimistic that we will graduate into the 42-day without any relapse but we are intensifying – as a government and medical people — that we must not compromise the medical measures that will contain Ebola for its eventual eradication,” he said.

He said Sierra Leone has now gone two days since Saturday into the 42-day countdown to be declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization.

“We discharged the last two patients from our treatment facility – that is International Medical Corps Treatment Center in Kambia District on Saturday, and since that day we are now two days,” Bayraytay said.

Bayraytay said the country is hopeful because no one out of the more than 700 people who have been quarantined in Bombali District has shown any symptoms of the Ebola virus.

“Since the incubation period for the disease is usually 21 days, so those people have now appreciated over 10 days into their quarantine period. And so far we are very lucky nobody has shown any symptoms for the virus,” Bayraytay said.