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A file photo taken on August 13, 2014 shows a woman walking past signs warning of ebola in Freetown. Sierra Leone's controversial Ebola lockdown has uncovered some 150 new cases of the deadly virus in addition to around 70 bodies previously unaccounted for, according to the authorities, who said they may repeat the campaign.CARL DE SOUZA/AFP / Getty Images

Two of the West African nations hardest hit by Ebola were bracing for new caseloads on Monday after trying to outflank the outbreak with a nationwide checkup and a large new clinic.

Sierra Leone was expected to announce a sharp increase in Ebola patients Tuesday following a nationwide effort to identify new cases, while Liberia opened its largest treatment centre yet.

Both countries have poor health systems, weakened by the loss to Ebola of many doctors and nurses. The World Health Organization estimated last week that they have only about 20 per cent of the beds they need to treat Ebola patients.

Still, identifying the sick is fundamental to containing the disease, and Sierra Leone went to an extreme unseen since the plague ravaged Europe during the Middle Ages, ordering an entire nation's people to remain at home while teams went door to door handing out soap and information.

More than one million households were checked for Ebola and told how to prevent its spread, authorities said.

In Liberia, meanwhile, ambulances rushed to fill the nation's largest new treatment centre, a 150-bed hospital on the outskirts of Monrovia that opened on Sunday, run by the Health Ministry, WHO and a team of Ugandan doctors.

By Monday, the new clinic had admitted 112 people, though only 46 of those have tested positive for Ebola, said assistant health minister Tolbert Nyenswah. The rest were being held for observation and treated for other diseases, like malaria.

Nearly 350 health workers in West Africa have been infected, and more than half of those have died. A Spanish priest who became infected while serving as a medical director for a hospital in Sierra Leone was flown back to Spain on Monday.