Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 April 2020:
Six people were today discharged from the 34 Military Hospital in Freetown, after successfully receiving treatment and cleared of the virus. They are among the first group of 35 confirmed cases that were admitted at the military hospital.
The index case – Mr Alphajor Jalloh, arrived home to his family in jubilation after he too was declared free of the virus. (See video below).
According to a statement issued by the ministry of information this evening, “the six COVID-19 patients were discharged after meeting the criteria of testing negative to the two tests conducted 24 hours apart. They have been discharged to go home, whilst monitoring of their status continues.”
The public is strongly being advised by the government to wear cloth facemask in all public spaces, including government offices, hospitals, markets and transport services.
“All transport operators, drivers, kekeh and Okada riders must always wear cloth mask. The Public is also further encouraged to continue to frequently wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer; avoid touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; cough or sneeze into their upper arm or sleeve; and avoid close contact (arms stretched length) from others, especially in crowded areas,” the statement reads.
Dr Bell – who self-declared as COVID-19 positive couple of weeks ago and then admitted at the military hospital, is also among the six discharged today. She wrote this open letter to her family and friends:
“Dear family and friends, it is with enormous gratitude to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the entire team at 34 Military Hospital, that I would like to inform you that I have been tested negative twice for the COVID-19 disease, which means I can go home today!!! It has been a bumpy ride and a roller coaster journey for the past 19 days. Many ups and many downs.
“I thank God that He sent people to comfort me in the times that I needed comfort, from the individuals in high positions, to my cleaner at work; all the Bishops, Pastors and Reverends; colleagues, friends and family. I say a BIG THANK YOU!! I would not have been able to go through the valley of the shadow of death, without your support and the strength of the most high God.
“To the rest of those being discharged today, I say, well done! To those still in the treatment centres I say, take heart and be assured that God is in control in Sierra Leone, exercise a lot and take all your vitamins and medications. It is well. To the very hard working staff at Military Hospital, I say BRAVO, you have given me new hope for Sierra Leone and I believe that God will reward each and every one of you.
“To the rest of the population out there I say, we are all in this together, each and every one of us has a part to play and the responsibility to flatten the curve of infected persons and hence reduce the number of deaths. Let us take all the necessary precautions. Stay at home!! Wash your hands regularly! Wear a proper face mask (with 2-3 layers at least). Social distancing!
“Correct your neighbour in love if they are violating the rules. To my colleague health care workers, I say, well done and please protect yourselves! Most importantly know that this too shall pass and that God is in Control, in Jesus Mighty Name!! From Dr NB (no longer a case number)”.
This is a positive news. But based on the current advice from the health specialists, I’m disappointed to see people hugging each other in the above video clip.
Social distancing is the new normal.