President Bio calls for more precautionary measures ahead of Coronavirus in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 March 2020:

Yesterday, President Julius Maada Bio went to visit officials at Lungi International Airport and local hospital in the north-western district town of Lungi to discuss measures that are in place to prevent and avoid the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

Addressing staff at the Lungi airport, President Bio said he is checking on the country’s state of readiness for any Coronavirus outbreak, adding that the disease is already affecting other countries around the world.

He said that Sierra Leone has gone through a similar outbreak before with the Ebola Virus Disease, which should serve as an experience to prevent a similar disease from entering the country.

“Using our past experience from Ebola, we thought we should raise awareness about what is happening around the world and how we can secure our country against the Coronavirus. This airport is a major point of entry to the country, so you have to make sure the processes that have been established are adhered to. Those of you working here are at the frontline and you must put measures in place. I want us all to be more vigilant and work collectively to fight the virus,” he said.

Speaking at the Government Hospital in Lungi, the President said that he wants to verify what has been done in the event of any possible outbreak. He said that the nation is depending on its medical practitioners in case of an outbreak, adding that this is why he is calling on them to be prepared.

He also commended the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and medical personnel for the measures that are already in place.

“I want us to go into the mode of washing hands as frequently as possible, reduce handshaking (Photo above: President Bio demonstrating the elbow shake), and using hand sanitizers to make sure that the Coronavirus does not enter Sierra Leone. I am raising awareness so that we all can become fighters against the virus. We are putting plans to ensure you are all well-protected when performing your duty,” he assured health workers.

Country Representative for the World Health Organization, WHO, Evans Liyosi, said that the action of the President to lead from the front, monitoring and obtaining first-hand information on the ground is a move in the right direction.

He said that the virus has entered West Africa, adding that Sierra Leone must do everything to prepare itself for any possible outbreak.

More than 3,000 people have died globally from COVID-19, as the illness is officially known, while more than 89,000 infections have been confirmed in dozens of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

President Bio also visited the Infectious Disease Prevention Centre at 34 Military Hospital at Wilberforce Barracks in Freetown to assess the country’s level of preparedness for the Coronavirus.

Commander, Medical Service at the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Stephen Sevalie, said that they have increased their level of preparedness and are doing their best to tackle any possible outbreak. He also confirmed that they have the capability to get timely mobile deployments.

President Bio said: “I want to thank you very much for the good work you are doing here. I wanted to come here myself and assess our state of readiness”.

3 Comments

  1. Does President Bio, the Bio Administration, the Minister of Health and the Army Medical Commander know that, there are two types of Coronavirus strains and that Coronavirus can mutate to other strains? According to Tech Times, “there are two types of Coronavirus strains. The L and the S. The L type can show symptoms. The S type does not show any physical symptoms and is the most dangerous”. You can go to Lungi and give all nice appreciation to your men but, a traveller from China, South Korea, Iran, America, Italy, Nigeria, South Africa etc, with Coronavirus type “S”, will not be detected at Lungi Airport.
    President Bio and the Bio Administration must be looking into such a scenario and work effectively in preparing a strategy on this dangerous and scary Coronavirus type “S”.

    Also, this is the time for the IMF and the World Bank to purchase and supply Sierra Leone with all its needs to prepare for not only Coronavirus type “L” which is contagious and aggressive, but also, the most dangerous and scary type “S”. Don’t send us money. Buy the necessary materials and send them. The WHO on the other hand must keep an eye closely on Sierra Leone to monitor any flu symptoms in Sierra Leone that might be related to Coronavirus mutation. As I said earlier, this issue, I mean Coronavirus, is not a political one. We must unite to prepare and help prevent it from reaching our doorsteps.

    The Bio Administration must not sit crossing their arms and say all is well. We are now moving towards the dry season where, in my view, Coronavirus will not survive. But what happens in the rainy season when it is cold and the breeding time for flu? I don’t know. So, no complacency Mr. President. Finally, I thank President Bio for taking the lead for preparing our country to face an outbreak of this dangerous and especially this unnoticeable type “S” Coronavirus. God bless President Bio. God protect Sierra Leone.

  2. I support the idea of the handshake, even though the corona virus is spreading like the harmatan fire all around the globe. This time it is not about the EBOLA virus which killed many in Sierra Leone. So lets join hands together and protect Sierra Leone from this virus. God bless our land Sierra Leone.

  3. Hear what the Army Medical commander is telling the President and the people of Sierra Leone. Is he saying the truth or giving the President and the people of Sierra Leone false hope? Or, is it just bluff talk before the cameras? Just confirming the capability to get timely mobile deployments in case of a Coronavirus outbreak without explaining what the capabilities/details are, does not make sense.

    The President and the people of Sierra Leone want to know what those capabilities are. Remember Mr. Army Medical Commander that, you are talking about a country with 12 districts, the western area and a population of roughly seven million people. Are you saying that, your department is fully prepared to handle the situation if there is an outbreak of Coronavirus in the Country? I doubt it very much.

    Will you please give the President and the people of Sierra Leone details of your capabilities and readiness for such an unknown, dangerous and deadly Coronavirus, Mr. Army Medical Commander? I appreciate what President Bio has done by taking the lead in the preparedness for a Coronavirus outbreak. But on the other hand, I believe that officials around him are not giving him the correct information. Also, I would have loved seeing people greeting with their feet or butts. God bless President Bio and Sierra Leone. To be continued.

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