By Amin Kef Sesay
Twenty-one new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Sierra Leone as of the 15th May 2020, bringing the total to 477 cases. The total number of people that have so far died is 27 according to the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
The number of confirmed cases is one of the highest since the country recorded its index case on March 30, 2020, despite wide-ranging measures introduced by the authorities to prevent the rapid transmission of the virus.
“Epidemiological data and other evidence indicate that there is community transmission of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone,” President Julius Maada Bio had said in a nationwide address prior to declaring the last three-day lockdown (May 3-5).
One of the difficult challenges the country faces is to slow down the number of cases recorded every day, in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve at a level where the healthcare system could cope or not be overwhelmed.
In a recent development, on the 12th May 2020 the Spokesperson for the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Solomon Jamiru, stated that confirmed cases of COVID-19 kept increasing and that the country might record more cases, if medical measures are not adhered to by people across the country.
The Spokesman, who also doubles as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was speaking at the Radio Democracy Good Morning Show programme, where he reiterated that based on what is currently happening and how the COVID-19 entered, the country is likely to record more cases.
He said currently there are people in quarantine homes from where the EOC generate confirmed cases, and from people who go to hospital for medical cheek-ups.
He said as a team at the EOC it is their commitment to see that they continue to do testing, contact tracing, do more sensitisation and awareness raising across the country on how people should prevent themselves from contracting the virus.
He further stated that health care workers are doing a great job in the fight against the coronavirus, noting that previously the fatality was like 74% of people below 45 years.
He said the fatality was now among the age of 60 years with mostly underline conditions.
He said the country’s health care system was not well placed, adding that it was now that Government is working to strengthen it.
The spokesman said the only way to prevent the rapid increase in confirmed cases in the country is to abide by all the medical measures- washing of hands regularly, avoiding crowded places and using face masks in public places.