President Bio announces new measures to curb rising Covid cases and deaths in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 01 July 2021:

President Julius Maada Bio has this evening made a nationwide TV and Radio broadcast, after an exponential rise in the number of recorded Covid cases and deaths. In the last four weeks, more than one thousand people have contracted the virus, according to the government.

One hundred and two people have so far died, and it is feared that in the coming days and weeks this number is likely to rise significantly if the government does not put tough measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.

President Bio has this evening responded with a series of measures, including the banning of church and mosque worship  for a month, and limiting capacity at weddings and funerals to 50 people.

But there is confusion as to whether funerals and weddings can take place in mosques and churches, subject to the president’s announced capacity limit of 50 people.

According to a government’s spokesman, weddings and funerals can take place, provided attendance capacity is limited to 50 people. He also said that however, normal Sunday and Friday prayers at mosques and churches are banned for a month with effect from tomorrow Friday.

This is what President Bio said:

“Fellow Sierra Leoneans, let me start by paying tribute to the memory of fellow citizens we have lost to COVID-19, their relatives and community members. I also thank our healthcare workers, security forces, frontline workers, experts, and our partners who have stood by us as we battle this deadly pandemic.

“But above all, I want to commend you, my fellow citizens, for your great patience, cooperation, and compliance with public health advisories and measures since the index COVID-19 case on 31st March 2020.

“Together as a nation, and in peace, we have coped with financial and social constraints, restrictions on movement, and the general global uncertainties and anxieties caused by this pandemic.

“We did not renew the state of emergency once it elapsed. We eased restrictions on worship and travel and completely lifted the curfew. We did so then, based on our assessment of COVID-19 infections.

“So far, we have kept our children in schools and colleges at all levels; kept hospitals and all Government offices open; kept public services running; kept congregational worship centres open, kept businesses open; and, supported the most vulnerable of our citizens throughout this period.

“Our Quick Action Economic Recovery Programme has mitigated the impact of the pandemic and maintained our economy on an even keel.

“All Covid-19 emergency response pillars from the national to district levels have remained active. All our policies as a Government have been well-thought-out to minimise the economic and other burdens of the pandemic, to save lives, and to protect livelihoods.

“International partners and institutions have unreservedly praised our competent handling of the first and second waves of the pandemic as we kept case fatality ratios at under 3%.

“However, according to the World Health Organisation, the third wave of COVID-19 is here, and the Delta variant has been recently detected in Sierra Leone. That variant is easily transmitted and it is very deadly.

“More people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few weeks. More people have been hospitalised and 72% of beds in treatment and care centres are occupied. More people are dying, and the Western Area is the epicentre of the latest wave of COVID-19 infections.

“We have assessed the data. We have carefully examined the patterns of infection. We have closely looked at the trends. We believe we must take urgent and necessary steps to stem this third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sierra Leone and thus save lives and protect livelihoods.

“I, therefore, announce the following interventions:

a) A nationwide curfew is imposed for a period of one-month effective Monday 5th July 2021 from 11pm to 5am daily.

b) Congregational worship in churches, mosques, and other religious places is suspended for a period of one-month effective Friday 2nd July 2021.

c) Restaurants and bars are encouraged to use takeaway services and they shall close at 9pm daily.

d) Attendance at funerals, weddings, and other social events shall be limited to no more than fifty persons.

e) Drivers and passengers are strongly urged to get their COVID-19 vaccination prior to all intra and inter-district travels.

“All prior NACOVERC measures and advisories on proper face- masking, handwashing, and social distancing remain in full force.

“NaCOVERC will enforce these measures strictly. I, therefore, call on all citizens to cooperate with these interventions. These measures will be reviewed from time to time based on scientific data and expert advice.

“COVID-19 vaccines that are available in this country are safe and efficacious. They have been approved by our Pharmacy Board and the World Health Organisation. I, senior members of Government, over a hundred thousand citizens have been fully vaccinated. This vaccine will protect you against COVID-19 and protect your life. I, therefore, strongly urge every eligible citizen to take the free COVID-19 vaccines that are widely available throughout the country. I thank you and God bless Sierra Leone.”

It remains to be seen whether these measures are tough enough and will be fully enforced in the coming days and weeks.

6 Comments

  1. As cases in the most advanced economies in the world starts to take a downward spiral, we are seeing an alarming rate of incremental covid19 case on the rise in Sierra Leone and other parts of Africa, associated with the delta virus accross the continent. Whilst countries like the United States, Israel, United Kingdom,the European Union, and some countries in the Middle east have managed to vaccinate majority of their populations, in Poor African countries like ours, we are yet to put the vaccination vehicle drive in to first gear. Turns out we don’t have enough fuel or vacines to come out of our drive way. The world health organisation, and the African Union have been demanding for more assistance from our rich international partners.

    At the end of the day, no one is safe until those that are willing to take the vacine have their japs administered in their hands. When you think about covid19, that originally started in Wuhan in central China at the back end of 2019, and cases spreading around the world in little less than two years, affecting more than hundred countries around the world,and killing millions, it goes to show the world is now a small village.No one is safe until everyone else is safe. What happens in Kabala, a resident in Kansas city, USA, should not take comfort in saying, oh well the disease will never hit American shores, because they’ve never heard of Kabala’s existence never mind Sierra Leone as a country.

  2. Always panic-mongering. Please tell us how many people die with malaria or other diseases in Sierra Leone.

    • Thanks Mr Reinhard. May be you can enlighten us about the death toll invloving Malaria cases in Sierra Leone. Its easy to find. You just have to Google it up. This days you can confirm all your beliefs by scrolling the Internet search engine. I suffered from Malaria attacks growing up, after getting beaten by Mosquitoes.So I will take no lectures from anyone about Malaria or any other tropical disease. This are disease that have always plagued us in the tropics. Across Africa millions of people have died especially children and pregnant women of all sort of preventable diseases. With not enough medical facilities, enough Ambulances, a brain drain of medical doctors out of Sierra-leone, and other African countries, due to corruption and underfunding by governments that have abandoned their responsibilities in looking after their citizens, instead siphoning the proceeds of our God given natural resources to Western banks.

      Like the recent returns of million of stolen Money by the British government stolen by a former Nigerian Governor, back to the Nigerian government, I think we better stick with the covid 19 story, rather than try to dirvert the attention of the people of Sierra Leone that wants to take the vacine. If you don’t accent in taking the jab, no one is going to force you. But it will be unforgiveable sin to campaign against it. The best you can do is to say some prayers for some of us that are already vaccinated. Maybe we are on our way to paradise. Covid19 is the new killer in town. And that is what the world is grappling with. I am talking about the once in a generation covid19 pandemic, not AIDs, River blindness, Malaria, Ebola or any of the many diseases that have claimed millions of lives. Since our African leaders only care about themselves and their families.

  3. DAD PROJECT SL CO LTD:

    NEWS UPDATE FROM OUR PRODUCTION, PROCESSING AND PACKAGING SITE IN DOUJU VILLAGE:

    As a seed Grower and Seller certified Company, we have commenced PROCESSING AND PACKAGING of our 2020 harvested quality seeds meant to be rolled out to all determine farmers in Sierra Leone.

    In our stock AT OUR PRODUCTION, PROCESSING AND PACKAGING SITE IN DOUJU VILLAGE is fifteen (15) tons that is going to be placed in our three Stores in Douju village, IDA Compound MAF KENEMA Office and Blama Town, Small-Bo Chiefdom as a start-up STOCK in OUR RICE DEALERSHIP COMMITMENT TO THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY ( MAF) FREETOWN.

    Afterwards, we shall be reaching out to our twelve out grower communities where we equally have stocks of quality Rice that will be transported to DOUJU VILLAGE FOR PROCESSING, PACKAGING AND DISTRIBUTION TO OUR NOBLE FARMERS ACROSS SIERRA LEONE.

    To sustain the flow of our supply, we have commenced our 2021/2022 quality Rice production in a more larger scale for both our upland and IVS rice cultivation at our Jagboima and Guallah sites all in Douju village Small-Bo Chiefdom in the Kenema District.

    • Sorry Hon. Habib Munda. I don’t get your point. How do these measures affect your company? Thank you very much in advance for replying me. TBC.

  4. I am so pleased with the containment measures that President Bio announced. The emphasis now has to be to vaccinate as many people as possible.

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