State House, Freetown, Wednesday 8 April 2020 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has encouraged Sierra Leoneans to help with the increased surveillance at community levels and called for more citizens’ participation in the fight against the Coronavirus, COVID-19.
“Let me take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Sierra Leoneans for their sacrifice in complying with advice from our healthcare experts. You have demonstrated that we all care deeply about our collective health and the future of this nation. I thank citizens, communities, our healthcare professionals, service men and women, SLAJ, CSOs, corporate groups and more, for their outstanding cooperation.
“The threat of the highly infectious and deadly Coronavirus is real and it is with us. As this morning, we have identified seven positive cases so far. These are difficult times for those persons and their loved ones. Let us pray with them and stand with them as a nation. Let us practice empathy and let us desist from all actions that may lead to stigma for the patients,” he told a press conference at State House today.
President Bio also said that the lockdown was a necessary public health intervention to scale up surveillance, contact tracing, and testing for all known cases, for possible new cases, to detect, isolate, and quarantine those persons, to map out the possible spread of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone.
He noted that the lockdown was also to re-assess and strengthen their COVID-19 pillars and institutions, re-align agenda and goal-setting across government and with development partners and deploy additional expertise and resources to fight the pandemic.
Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, said that the issue of fake news was posing serious challenges and was undermining government’s efforts in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. He encouraged Sierra Leoneans to listen to the Ministries of Health and Sanitation and Information and Communication as the only credible sources of government information on the virus.
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