As COVID-19 Cases Spike… Partial Lockdown Commences Today

By Amin Kef Sesay

At first it started as a rumour but just recently it turned out to be a reality as authorities of National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre (NaCOVERC) have announced a new partial lockdown of the capital Freetown and a night curfew throughout the country to counter the “exponential” increase of COVID cases in the country. These measures will come into effect this Monday, for two weeks initially, according to a statement by NaCOVERC.

Freetown has recorded more than half of the cases of contamination in the country. The authorities decided to restrict entry and exit from the Western Area and its surroundings.

All those who wish to travel outside Freetown for essential purposes are subject to a negative COVID test within 72 hours. An electronic pass will be introduced “to regulate essential movements”. It will also be accessible through a mobile application.

A curfew will be re-established throughout the country from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am .

Restaurants and bars will have to remain closed on weekends and the wearing of masks remains mandatory in public places. “Since December 2020, we observe an exponential increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19, largely due to the holiday season,” an official of NaCOVERC stated.

Sierra Leone has reported 3,081 cases of COVID-19 and 77 deaths since March 2020. Four out of five (80%) cases of infection were detected during routine testing or in travellers leaving the country. This is “a strong indication of active community transmission,” where the precise source of infection is undetermined, a sign of virus circulation and a complicating factor in the response” the official continued.

The country of 7.5 million people had been hard hit by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which killed nearly 4,000 people in the country between 2014 and 2016. It is still struggling to recover from a civil war that killed some 120,000 people nearly 20 years after the end of the conflict.

The country is in its 43rd week of the Coronavirus outbreak, with 3.051 cumulative confirmed positive cases. For now we are experiencing the second wave.

The nation took appropriate measures to keep COVID-19 in check during the first wave. “We must, ‘with renewed vigor and extra vigilance, pull together as one nation, to address this second wave,” the Interim National Coordinator of NaCOVERC, Brigadier Rtd Hassan Kellie Conteh, admonished Sierra Leoneans .

He said NaCOVERC is working assiduously to strengthen test regimes at land border points of entry.

This is an extremely difficult moment for our country, he stated, furthering how together they can curtail the spread of COVID-19 and maintain the successes we have made.

He called on all to continue remembering the souls that have succumbed to the disease as well as praying for our dedicated men and women in the fight against COVID-19.


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