Twenty new cases of COVID-19 reported in Sierra Leone in the last forty-eight hours

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 April 2020:

Eight new cases were reported in the last twenty-four hours in Sierra Leone, amid rising political tension after dozens of rioting prisoners were gunned down by armed soldiers believed to be from the presidential guard, killing at least nine.

But in the last forty-eight hours, a total of twenty new COVID-19 cases have been reported, bringing the total number of cases in Sierra Leone to 124. Yesterday saw one of the highest increases so far, with 12 new confirmed cases reported. And the total number confirmed dead has risen to seven.

There has been controversy surrounding the number of deaths reported by the Emergency Response Team. Two days ago, the spokesman for the COVID-19 Response Team – Solomon Jamiru, claimed there was a total of five deaths, after a woman who had tested positive was classified as dead.

But yesterday, Mr Jamiru retracted, saying that the fifth coronavirus death he reported two days ago – 28th April, was incorrect. He said that although the woman had tested positive for the virus, she was not dead.

Solomon Jamiru was criticised for labelling the woman as “destitute”, when he said: “Sierra Leone now records its 5th death; the latest is that of a female destitute. Upon 117 call, the team found her outside Connaught Hospital in a critical condition…”

In response, Dr Sylvia Blyden – who herself is a trained medical doctor, (Photo) said: “This is an unpleasant, cavalier term to use – ‘Female destitute’. How can a government Spokesman refer to a dead citizen as “destitute” just because she laid outside a hospital in critical condition? It is likely her relatives took her there and fled to avoid being quarantined and abandoned by this government that is now on record to be forcefully quarantining women and children in compounds with no food.

“Also, this government makes COVID-19 disease so fearsome instead of communicating messages assuring populace that it’s a disease where up to 95% of infected patients survive. So citizens are now scared to associate themselves with anyone infected – especially as forcibly Quarantined Homes with women and children, like the one up Mount Aureol Terrace, Foulah Tong, are not being fed but left to starve for days.

“No matter the circumstances of how the deceased woman presented at Connaught Hospital, he should not use a negative attribute to describe her. Basic communication skills teaches that as long as a person is dead and cannot defend themselves, a Spokesman should completely refrain from using any negative description on such a dead person. Lawyer Jamiru should have simply stated that:- ‘a female patient unaccompanied by anyone was admitted in critical condition’. That is all. That is what an experienced government communicator would have written.”

But what is worrying about the  pattern of the reported cases in the last few days, is the rapid rate of transmission in the Bonthe District of the country, with six of the eight new cases confirmed in the last twenty-four hours alone, recorded in Bonthe, bringing the total in that district to ten.

Nationally, more men are now reported to have been infected by COVID-19 – (with 68 cases) than women – 56 confirmed cases.

3 Comments

  1. I see that Sylvia Blyden, our learned and trained medical doctor is at it again. She is trying ever so strenuously to stay relevant in our national politics by criticizing the SLPP government for their handling of the coronavirus in Sierra Leone. Just the other day, she was on radio commanding the Government to announce all the names of the people currently affected by the coronavirus. If Sylvia is a medical doctor as she claimed to be, she should know that HIPAA privacy rule applies to all patients but that appears not to concern her as long as she is in the spot light.

    But what really baffles me and begs a question is that if Sylvia is a trained medical doctor, what better time to put her expertise to work. Why is she not at the frontline? Instead of sitting on her high horse, I think she should don her medical scrubs and gang up with all our healthcare workers to fight this scourge. Sylvia should know that there is a higher calling to patriotism and love for country than causing noise and making a nuisance of herself.

  2. A broke Administration faced with two major crisis indeed. Violence and barbarity have been the order of the day since the Bio Administration took power. This will continue till 2023 unfortunately. Coronavirus pandemic and now political instability. How can the Bio Administration get out of this mess? Is there another crisis like food shortages on its way? At a time when every country is occupied in dealing with this very serious disease, we are busy staging chaos and anarchy in our prison, carrying out mob justice, violating people’s human rights, shooting and killing of prison officials and prison inmates and removing political detainees to undisclosed location. Why such overwhelming force against unarmed prisoners?

    There must be an independent investigation into this tragic situation supervised by parliament. For now, the Bio Administration must be held accountable for this tragic situation. Also, the Bio Administration should be held responsible for the wellbeing of all the Political Detainees removed and taken away. Did I hear, the Ungentleman Minister of Foreign Affairs calling a woman, destitute? SAD for someone in our Foreign Affairs policy making to utter such an appalling and irresponsible statement. God bless and protect all the political detainees removed from Pademba Road Prisons. May God grant all those injured a speedy recovery and may the souls of all those who died rest in perfect peace. May the almighty God help Mrs Conteh. Amen and Amen.

    • We hear you and we know you and APC are far removed from the truth. Keep on lamenting.God will enlighten you one day. I am neither APC nor SLPP. My party is Sierra Leone.

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