By Foday Moriba Conteh
As it was announced by the newly Presidential appointee to Head the National COVID -19 Response Team, (Rtd) Brig Gen. Hassan Kellie Conteh, there will be a three-day nationwide lock down. It commenced on Sunday 5th April 2020 and ended yesterday the 7th April 2020. According to him the decision was put in place with the aim of preventing the spread of coronavirus, after two new cases were reported.
As the situation now stands the country has now confirmed seven cases, all within five days. Retired Brigadier Kellie Conteh stated that the lock down was to trace potential contacts they took cognizance of having come in touch with affected persons with the objective of isolating and monitoring them.
He furthered that the lock down was also necessitated to trace and identify all secondary contacts and also place them under surveillance.
The daunting task that the authorities presently have is to improve quarantine conditions and tighten security, after reports of people leaving isolation areas. Prior to the implementation of the lockdown, banks and market places were overflowing with people. Disappointedly, unscrupulous traders seized the opportunity to hike prices of essential commodities.
Government authorities ordered that all businesses, offices and markets have veronica buckets at their entrance to promote hand washing as a precautionary measure. Indeed during the three days the streets were empty as the compliance rate was high
A spectacular thing that caught the attention of the Government and instilled fear in the minds of citizens was that most patients at the main referral centre – the Connaught Hospital – voluntarily discharged themselves with the fright that they would be mixed with coronavirus patients during the lockdown.
Hospital wards were almost empty as patients had been reluctant to be admitted, except those who were critically ill.
Medical practitioners at Ola During Children’s hospital deserted and went into self-isolation, following a second doctor testing positive. “We are all in this together,” National Coordinator Kellie Conteh stated inter alia admonishing citizens to comply with the lockdown.