Sierra Leone Telegraph: 01 July 2021:
It is difficult to assess the accuracy of the number of Covid related deaths reported by the government of Sierra Leone, in a country where hundreds of deaths are unreported daily to the authorities.
In the last week alone, there have been dozens of suspected Covid related deaths on social media, that are not accounted for by health officials.
But on Sunday, NaCOVERC Spokesman, Solomon Jamiru confirmed that the country’s COVID-19 response is at a critical phase with 7 deaths recorded in just 48 hours, and that the military’s 34 hospital can no longer accommodate more cases; and worst of all – the country’s healthcare system is not prepared if cases get critical.
With daily average number of recorded new cases now exceeding 80 and the confirmed number of deaths at 100, there are calls for the government to step up its testing and vaccination programmes.
The announcement early this week by the Mayor of Freetown that she has tested positive for Covid, has had an impact on the number of people going for the vaccine, with Covid vaccine doubters asking “why should the Mayor test positive after taking the vaccine”, ignoring the fact that the vaccine does not prevent Covid but lowers the risk of serious Covid illness and hospitalisation, if contracted.
Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyerr who has taken the vaccine said in her Facebook page that: “I have this evening tested positive for Covid-19. I am reaching out to all the people I had direct contact with over the past two days to inform them. I have self-isolated as per NACOVERC guidelines. I am feeling fine at the moment. As we are experiencing the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, I continue to encourage Sierra Leoneans to follow all NACOVERC guidelines”.
Last week, Mayor Aki Sawyerr attended the funeral of the late mother of former Attorney General Joseph Kamara in Makeni, where she was seen sitting with the former president and other senior politicians. (Photo above).
Many in the country are blaming the government for the rising number of cases, after the president two weeks ago published a public notice calling on the people of Sierra Leone to march to the national stadium in Freetown to celebrate the country’s victory over Benin at the African Cup football tournament.
Critics say that this event was a super-spreader of the Covid virus that is now aggressively transmitting across the capital Freetown, where the number of confirmed cases has reached 4,239.
According to yesterday’s report by NACOVERC, the total number of confirmed cases across the country, now stands at 5,575. One hundred people have been recorded dead from the virus. The total number of people arriving in the country with Covid has reached 229.
Yesterday, the US Embassy in Freetown announced that it has joined efforts with the government to speed up the vaccination process by offering to vaccinate its citizens in the country over the next two days, starting today Thursday.
“The U.S. Embassy in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone is providing Astra Zeneca vaccinations at the U.S. Embassy on a first come basis on July 1 and 2. American citizens are invited to receive vaccinations at this time. There will be guides at the entrance to direct persons to the area where vaccinations will be given. Please bring your passport or another form of identification on Thursday, July 1 – 10:00 AM to early afternoon; Friday, July 2 – 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Information will be provided about the time and logistics for obtaining a second dose of vaccine,” the notice reads.
As pressure mounts in State House for the president to legislate another State of Emergency Act to curb the rising number of Covid cases and deaths, opposition MP and parliamentary leader of the NGC party, Dr Kandeh Yumkella has warned the government not to yield to such pressure.
“We don’t need a State of Emergency for the Third Wave of COVID-19. As the number of persons confirmed with COVID-19 increases in the country, the Government must consider using the provisions of the Public Health Act 1960 as amended to help curb the virus.
“The Act gives the Minister of Health and Sanitation extensive powers, including to restrict movement of people in infected areas, quarantine and isolation of cases, surveillance, make rules for the whole or any part of Sierra Leone for the treatment of affected persons, for preventing the spread of infection and for the vaccination of persons.
“A State of Emergency should never be the first option, especially when we have adequate laws designed to address our situation. We must also continue to call on all Sierra Leoneans to do their part; remember to wear your mask, wash your hands often, maintain social distance and take the vaccine,” Yumkella said yesterday.
Please, please take the Covid-19 vaccine. This is an appeal to everyone. The vaccine saves lives and stops the spread when more people take it and reduce the number of deaths. The UK is winning because a high number of people have taken and are taking the vaccine : deaths are low in spite of rising infection rate. Nobody should risk their life when the vaccine will help to prevent it; also you help to prevent other people dying.
Vaccine hesitancy is not limited certain sections of societies. I took my two jabs, as a long distance marathon runner, and God knows how many races I have completed, I have never taken my health and running for granted. So one could imagine, someone who hardly knows how a doctor’s surgery looks like, let alone spend my time in a waiting room in an accident and emergency unit, how I felt when I was offered my jabs. For me common sense dictates, this Covid19 pandemic have killed more people that I personally know, and many millions in the wider world. I never needed much convincing about the effectiveness of taking the jab.
Having said that, I am in no way suggesting vacine sceptics have no right to believe what they believe in. I fully understand your fear. The freedom of choice is universal. So for me reaching my decision was based on the statistics. How many people have fallen victim to this covid19 pandemic since it was identified in China.? According John Hopkins University, more than 3million people have died around the world. Just over a thousand people with underlining disease have died as a result of taking the jab. You are more likely to be hit by a lightning than die as a result of taking the vacine. Maybe more than ten high profile east African politicians that were covid19 deniers have died so far across the African continent .No one will force anyone. Although some employers are demanding their employees take the vacine. What an irony in the land of free and brave.
Aristotle, believed that everything happening to you today has a purpose, because it turns you into the person you are becoming. You can use it to empower yourself, and the people around. In the case of Mayor Akin Sawyer, she have certainly not disappointed. After catching Covid19, which triggers the mind boggling questions swelling around people’s heads, now confused and totally disorientated, the next question in theb mind of the ordinary man and woman, is how comes, this sort of thing that was meant to happen to others but unfortunately has now happened to our hard working, and inspirational mayor, and the voice of the voiceless.If the Gods were trying to drive a message about the deadlines of Covid19, they have certingly chose the right messenger to deliver it to the covid19 sceptics. No one saw tbis one coming down the tracks, but happened it did. So all we pray now is for a quick recovery for our Mayor.
Maybe a society lacking trust in politicians, and plagued by misinformation, and consumed in the power of witchcraft and idol worshipping witch doctors and hanging to their every word, buttress by social media and fake news covid19 deniers evangelist, trying to hold in to their price possession faithful, and in the process dying them real medical advice , we finally they have got some one who they trust in our Mayor, to say this deadly covid19 pandemic is real and is claiming lives. The only way now you can close the door and bring the shutters down to prevent it from reaching your home or your communities homes, is to obey the NOVACR public safety Covid19 protocols adviced by the government, until such time a vacine is available for you. You can’t wear amulets, with feathers of dead birds sticking out your head as prescribed by your local witch doctor and claim you are immune from the diseases.
Yes the Mayor had her vacine, yet other’s will argue she unfortunately caught the virus. The difference here, by having taking it already, her chances of hospitalizations is minimal compared to those that are vacine sceptics. This covid19 deniers can be found all over the world. Europe, United States, Australia, even I dare say amongst health professionals that are supposed to know better. The world is so corrupted, there are pop up vacine apologist in the Internet and social media that are raking in millions of dollars at the expense of others suffering. During wars and pandemics like this, there is always someone out there trying to take advantage of our misery and suffering. Please if you can’t take the vacine, don’t fall in the hands of this doomsday sayers.
I can only repeat my view of this pandemic. I’m not a denier of this corona disease, but I’m more and more skeptical about the activities and the kind of tests (PCR) used to fight the disease. There are many critical voices of experts around the world and nobody can deny that the ordinary poor people had to suffer the most, the rich become richer, the monitoring increase and worldwide the democratic rights will more and more be limited.
Get well soon, Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyerr.
Worldwide there is an increase in the delta (Indian) variant) which is more contagious. We see it in the Uk at the moment.