Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 April 2020:
Five new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Sierra Leone in the last twenty-four hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 104, as two people are reported to have also recovered from the virus. The total number of those recovered now stands at 12. Four people are so far confirmed dead.
There are now 1,192 people in quarantine at isolation centres under observation. It is not clear whether the four new cases reported today are from contacts traced; or among those in quarantine; or self-refered at a hospital after feeling unwell.
Solomon Jamiru – who is the spokesperson for the Covid-19 National Response Team, commented on the epidemiology of the virus in Sierra Leone, especially its transmission rate and pattern, and the government’s strategy, this morning said: “The last time the world had a pandemic of this nature, was 100 years ago. And of course, the UN had not seen a thing like this, so global in scale, for 75 years of its existence. We are in a deep crisis. As a country, we have to take the steps necessary to prevent and fight back. If schools should close down, churches and mosques could comply, businesses suffering, can’t they feel cheated when they see a lot of people who feel they are exempted from the emergency measures?
“If you say, you can’t wear a mask, or wash your hands with soap, or maintain social distancing, you’re a deviant in society. In this emergency, some people should not think that they are above the law or that for them, compliance is not necessary. The rule on social distancing, washing of hands or using sanitizers, face coverings, etc is of general application. From government offices to private establishments, market places to public transportation, there should be compliance at all levels.
“With total cumulative positives at 99 (the latest 6 coming from Western Area), our capital city is a hotspot. You may say 96% of the positive cases are epi-linked. Yes, that’s true. But also, the 4% represents slight community spread. So clearly, there’s evidence of community transmission. That’s what the experts are telling us; that’s what part of the epidemiological trajectory is telling us.
“With cases emerging from unlikely parts of the country, we have to be concerned. Take nothing for granted my brothers and sisters. This virus has no vaccine. They call it Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2. It’s figures show an exponential rise different from Ebola.
“With the Electronic Pass Management System now in place for the lockdown and curfew extension, additional manpower and time to process pass requests may not be required (as it was the case when the EOC received over 1,000 applications during the initial 72 hour lockdown).
“So, as we deepen the fight, all of us should cooperate and launch a massive push against Covid-19. Blessed 59th Anniversary to us all. God bless Sierra Leone.”