Sierra LeoneTelegraph: 24 April 2020:
In the last twenty-four hours, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sierra Leone has increased from 64 to 82, after 18 new cases were reported today. But the total number of people confirmed dead from the virus in the last hour, stands at three.
According to the COVID-19 national response team, a 37 year old male who presented with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown, passed away before his test result was confirmed as positive.
All but one of the new confirmed cases were found in the over-populated capital Freetown, which continues to be regarded as the COVID-19 hotbed of Sierra Leone, with a total of 71 cases so far recorded in the City. The western urban area of Freetown has the highest number of cases with 64.
The number of cases in Port Loko stands at 6, whilst Tinkolili has now increased to two.
The gender disparaity in the number of cases continues to widen, with more women reported of carrying the infection – a total of 43, compared to 39 male.
According to the Covid19 spokesman, Solomon Jamiru, there are now seventy COVID-19 active cases who are currently under observation and are being managed in isolation centers. All are in stable condition.
The total number of persons currently in quarantine is 891, and a total 1,226 people have so far been discharged from quarantine.
The government says it is now mandatory for everyone to wear a cloth face mask in public spaces. Enforcement mechanisms are in place, so everyone is advised to have a cloth face mask.
“The Public is further encouraged to continue frequent washing of hands with soap, or clean with hand sanitizer; avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; cough or sneeze into the upper arm or sleeve; and avoid close contact (arms stretched length) with others, especially in crowded areas.”
The Government also said that it has decided to provide frontline healthcare workers with required incentives for the treatment and medical care of persons with COVID-19, including cash risk allowance in lieu of their PAYE (Pay As You Earn) tax deductions for a period of three months commencing lst April, 2020, subject to review; life insurance policy encompassing payment to the next-of-kin of any frontline healthcare worker that loses his/her life in providing treatment to persons infected with COVID-19; free tuition and other forms of educational support for a maximum of three children up to 1st degree level, for any healthcare worker who loses his/her life in the discharge of their duties; payment of COVID-19 weekly allowance, including compensation for daily food, board and lodging, to frontline healthcare workers in treatment centres (Acute), Isolation centres (Mild), Laboratory and quarantine centres/homes.
This is the government’s update as at 11am this morning, which does not include the death reported this afternoon:
A good, compact and well-organsised article by the Sierra Leone Telegraph. The COVID-19 updates by the government are very informative and important data depicting the cumulative effect of the coronavirus pandemic in Sierra Leone. The data seemingly reflects TRANSPARENCY by highlighting the potential spread of the disease across the 16 districts in the country. However, there is an element of deceit in the statistics that does not allow the public to assess the efficiency and approach of the government in tackling the war against this dreadful and invisible enemy.
For a guick glance, the data gives the number of ‘New Case(s)’ per day, but ominously, the government apparently does not want the public to know the number of tests performed on that particular day. Where is the statistic for the rate of infection! For instance, if 10 people are registering positive for COVID-19 in 100 tests carried out, then the rate of infection is one person could probably show positive for every 10 tests completed. The accuracy of this ratio (10/100 or 1/10) would depend on the size (sample) of the tests carried out.
It is obvious, if only 10 tests are performed in a day, the maximum infection rate is 10. Thus, without the information on the number of tests performed, the government reserves a lever to manipulate the true infection rate; and thereby obscuring the trend in the spread of the virus. In such a case, what would be the real projection of people that could be infected in six months’ time? Is the government building a model of the pandemic that could determine the true peak, or ‘flattening of the curve’?
Furthermore, another obvious fact surrounding the data is the deliberate misinformation on net immigration; or how effective is the increased manning of the many porous borders by the security forces. According to this article, “The total number of persons currently in quarantine is 891, and a total of 1,226 people have so far been discharged from quarantine”. These are all cumulative figures; the main statistic that is missing here is the rate of entry of people into the country. This number is very significant as it must correspond to the number of people in quarantine in a fair, transparent and accountable system. And, it will also help to identify the direct source of COVID-19 infection – whether locally or through international boundaries. The question is: Are there certain people evading quarantine procedures? Is the government’s quarantine arrangement infested with leakages, nepotism, bribery and corruption?
In future, the public would also like to know about the number of people going into Isolation and intensive care Unit (icu) centres per day. This information will enable the wider public to monitor whether the government’s approach in the fight to eradicate COVID-19 is effectively working; or might need an overhaul and the adoption of new strategies. This number is very important as it gives a clear picture of the number of deaths per infection, or per isolation ccentre, or per admittance into treatment centre (or icu).
The onslaught against the coronavirus in Sierra Leone is compounded by a political climate that draws its reference to the ebola virus experience that destroyed the lives of many in the country. Nonetheless, unlike the first ebola pandemic in the Manor River region, the people had acquired the necessary skillset to fight pandemics, such as COVID-19. They have learnt that it is a war that can be won by the collective effort of each and everyone in the nation. The current war against COVID-19 should not be used as a framework to gain political ground. It is everyone’s war.
Please let the populace be educated to change the cloth/face masks daily that is every day they used it they should changed or washed it both inside-out of the face covering with soap and clean water and allow it to dry up before using it. And if possible each individual must have 2/3 face coverings which can be changed and washed/dried up after each usage before using the next one and this cleaning routines of the face covering will greatly help to reduce/prevent the spread of this deadly virus. A word to the wise is quite sufficient and may God almighty heal, deliver and protect us all during these trying times
Scary stuff. The number of infected people now rising exponentially by the day in Sierra Leone. Some are now dying. With no vaccines, no medicines, inadequate number of PPEs and less testing kits worldwide, God help protect Sierra Leone from Coronavirus.
The government is being economical with the TRUTH, there is no enforcement mechanism in place for wearing face mask in public. PERIOD!!
Testing criteria for coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Sierra Leone needs expansion in Freetown to include individuals who are asymptomatic and essential workers still reporting to work in person, whether they have symptoms. Please, Sierra Leone, institute testing site, or your health care resources to provide testing before the country gets consumed by this pandemic. In Michigan, we have lost close to 3000 individuals of 7,000,000 population and the number keeps rising. If one person is capable to infect 40 individuals 82 has already infected 3280 who will infect another 132,800, you get the point. Therefore, testing all residents of Freetown would reflect any meaningless loss of lives in Freetown. We have three deaths in Freetown!