Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 November 2014
If officially confirmed, this latest Ebola statistics proves what many, including the Sierra Leone Telegraph have been saying about the government’s persistent under-reporting and cover up of Ebola cases.
According to the WHO; “There were 145 new confirmed cases reported in Guinea in the week to 9 November. Liberia reported 97 confirmed and probable cases in the week to 8 November.
“EVD transmission remains high in Sierra Leone, with 421 new confirmed cases reported in the week to 9 November. Much of this was driven by intense transmission in the country’s west and north. Transmission remains intense in the capital Freetown, which reported 77 new confirmed cases in the past week. High levels of activity also persist in the nearby Bombali and the Western rural area, which each reported 69 confirmed cases. Port Loko and Tonkolili each reported 56 confirmed cases.”
Last week, Sierra Leone’s deputy minister of information – Theo Nicol, who is seen by many as perhaps the only honest minister in the Koroma government, told local media that 37,000 people were being quarantined across the country.
With the laboratory testing facility at the British run Kerry Town Treatment Centre conducting over 300 blood tests a day, it is now becoming obvious that the rate of infection and transmission was far greater than the government has been reporting.
But there are also disturbing reports from Koinadugu district in the north of Sierra Leone, where several hundreds of people are now believed to have contracted the Ebola virus.
When news broke over three weeks ago of mass deaths in the village of Nieni in Koinadugu, there were denials, accusations and counter accusations.
Last week the Red Cross collected the highly contaminated remains of at least 30 villagers. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
These dead bodies are said to have been locked up in houses for several days awaiting removal, as villagers are now fully aware of the dangers of traditional burials.
Medical experts believe that hundreds of villagers are now infected with the virus in Koinadugu and in need of desperate care.
It is believed that Ebola has been in Koinadugu for several months, killing scores of people, whilst government officials lied about the non-existence of Ebola in the district.
Last week, as a local Ebola Task Force headed by Momoh Conteh (Photo), went on a house-burning orgy, aimed at getting rid of Ebola, analysts say that vital evidence that could give clues as to how long Ebola has been in the district were being destroyed.
‘Those who have died will be cremated and their homes will be burned down in order to protect others in the community,’ Momoh Conteh told The Washington Post.
Momoh Conteh – a close business associate of those occupying the seat of power at State House, is today being accused by some in Sierra Leone as responsible for the massive cover up of the full extent of Ebola in Koinadugu.
Questions are also being asked about the role of the Finance Minister – Kelfala Marah (Photo) – a son of Koinadugu, in this massive Ebola cover up, now dubbed Ebolagate, as people demand answers from the authorities.
Momoh Conteh is himself a son of Koinadugu and was unsuccessfully indicted for his involvement in the Timbergate affair, which was exposed by the Aljazeera television documentary, involving vice president Sam Sumana.
But the Timbergate case was thrown out of court in Freetown, due to insufficient evidence submitted by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission.
Momoh is now once again, embroiled in the Ebolagate scandal that is fast evolving in Koinadugu, for his alleged involvement in the massive cover up of the true extent of Ebola in the district, where hundreds of people have already died and buried, since the outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone seven months ago.
Three weeks ago, the Sierra Leone Telegraph reported that any confirmation of large scale Ebola deaths and confirmed cases in Koinadugu, after months of denial about the existence of the virus in the district, will be a serious game changer in the nation’s fight against Ebola.
Tonight, as accusations of an alleged cover up in Koinadugu by a small group of highly influential people from the district – led by Momoh Conteh and possibly supported by the Finance Minister Marah, continue to grown, health workers in various treatment centres in the country have gone on strike.
They are withholding their much needed care and support services, because the government has failed to pay them the agreed risk allowance.