By Edward Vamboi
At the Military Joint Logistics Centre at Murray Town in Freetown, the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Kabba, on the 14th July 2021, officially handed over a consignment of medical supplies, comprising assorted Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) worth some $1 million to the Head of the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre (NaCOVERC), Sheku F. Bangura, who also doubles as the Deputy Minister of Finance 2.
The short but important occasion was graced by senior military personnel of the Joint Logistics Centre, some officials of the Mines Ministry, representatives of Sea Wright Mining Company, officials of NaCOVERC and the Press and was chaired by Larry Bassie from NaCOVERC.
In his statement while handing over of the two containers of PPEs to the head of NaCOVERC, the Minister of Mines, Timothy Kabba, underscored that though COVID-19 has affected the mining sector, he is of the view that the country has comparatively recorded the lowest death rates caused by the spread of the virus globally, stating that such is attributable to the precautionary measures instituted by NaCOVERC.
The Minister continued by disclosing how the Mines Ministry had been engaging mining companies on how they can contribute in curtailing the spread of the virus in the country furthering that in that regard the Sea Wright Mining Company is outstanding, as the company on various times has in different ways assisted in the fight against the virus.
He stated that the company has mining concessions in various parts of the country and in some areas has not started operations, but has immensely contributing to the socio-economic development of communities where it intends to operate.
Timothy Kabba intimated after engaging the company on how it could assist to fight the third wave of COVID-19, Management of Seawright Mining Company decided to provide over $900,000 for the procurement and shipment of medical supplies to the country, out of which two containers will be handed over to the NaCOVERC.
The Mines Minister highly commended the company for its support also expressing hope that other companies will follow the footstep of the company.
Head of NaCOVERC, Sheku F. Bangura, upon receipt of the consignment, expressed appreciation to the Minister for his unremitting efforts in facilitating the cooperation of mining companies in the fight against the virus, stating that as the country was able to overcome the first and second waves it will succeed in combating the third wave.
Sheku F. Bangura maintained that health workers, considered to be frontline workers are in need of PPEs that noting how they came at the right time.
He also informed the audience Government has made great efforts in securing medical supplies to fight the virus and plans are underway to get more supplies, but it is constrained as a result of delay in shipment.
The Head of NaCOVERC said against such a backdrop the arrival of the PPEs will go a long way to help protect health workers.
He additionally pointed out that with the emergence of third wave of COVID-19 in the country, demand for more PPEs and medical supplies has increased, as there has been a surge in the cases in the country.
Sheku F. Bangura assured that the PPEs will be distributed to the various hospitals across the country for use, and advised healthcare workers to make good use of the supplies.
He stated that they are encouraging all health workers to take the COVID-1 vaccines because they come in direct contact with the virus during the course of their work.
The NaCOVERC Head also encouraged others to get vaccinated.
Larry Bassie of NaCOVERC, earlier on, praised the Mines Minister for his efforts in ensuring that the protective items were procured and also extended gratitude to the company for its support to the Government.
The occasion was climaxed by a symbolic handing over of some of the PPEs by the Mines Minister, Timothy Kabba, to the Head of NaCOVERC Sheku F Bangura.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper