By Foday Moriba Conteh
The Ministry of Information and Communications on the 23 March 2020 convened a Press Briefing at its Conference Hall in order to update journalists on preparedness, awareness or sensitization of Government on the prevention of Coronavirus in Sierra Leone.
Present were both the Minister and Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, Mamadi Ngobeh Kamara, Mr Harold from the Ministry of Health, Kalilu Totangi of the Civic Education Commission and the Deputy Minister of Political Affairs including the Fourth Estate.
Giving an update, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications dilated on how far the Government has done with regards sensitization or awareness and preparedness on the Coronavirus across the country. She highlighted that the Coronavirus is a pandemic that is currently a serious challenge in the world and has negatively affected the World Economy.
She disclosed how Sierra Leone has no case as for now further debunking the fake news on social media that a Sierra Leonean by the name of Mohamed Sheriff came from Italy and was vomiting blood at Bailey Street in Brookfields.
“The man in question came from Liberia and he is presently healthy and safe even though a team is monitoring him on his self-quarantine,” she told newsmen.
She added how another fake news on social media states that a Chinese national allegedly died in a Hotel at Rokel. At that juncture the Deputy Minister admonished Sierra Leoneans to use social media responsibly and objectively to communicate correct information and not spread fake news underscoring how 50% of news is passed through the social media.
She informed journalists that Sierra Leone has three official crossing points and over three hundred unofficial crossing points revealing how efforts have been made to monitor movements at the three points.
The Deputy Minister encouraged Sierra Leoneans to use the Ministry’s Facebook page to get updates, correct and confirmed news.
The Information and Communications Minister ,Mohamed Rahman Swaray, assured journalist that Government will be issuing information through the Ministry of Information and Communications stating that it is confusing that some Ministries are coming out with different Press Releases on the same issue of Coronavirus sensitization and awareness.
Mr Harold from the Ministry of Health also confirmed that Sierra Leone has not yet registered any case also informing that we have nine (09) quarantine locations across the country, saying four hundred and twenty one (421) people in quarantine homes are properly monitored on a daily basis. He said over three hundred people are on self-quarantine.