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Thursday, September 23, 2021

NaCOVERC Chairman Refutes UK Red Listing of Sierra Leone

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The Chairman National Coronavirus Response Center (NaCOVERC) Sheku F. Bangura, has refuted the UK government’s red listing of Sierra Leone, saying that “we are a low case country and should not be red listed.”

He made this statement at a specially organised press conference held at the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications, 8th Floor Youyi Building in Freetown on Wednesday 21st July 2021.

Chairman Bangura explained that NaCOVERC has not been under-reporting cases of COVID-19 in the country, as alleged by some researchers, and that they have been doing all they could to ensure that the real figures are shared with the public.

Referencing the recently launched Seroprevalence Survey Report, which indicates that Sierra Leone has been under-reporting its COVID-19 cases, the Chairman assured Sierra Leoneans and the UK Government that the report was referring to the amount of people exposed to the virus, and not those affected by it.

He maintained that as at this week, cases of COVID-19 have reduced to 3.1%, which is way below the World Health Organization (WHO) average of 5%.

The Chairman disclosed that the country will be using diplomatic means to engage the UK Government for them to understand that the country should not be red listed, since the cases have reduced.

Bangura explained that Sierra Leone is observing a downward trend in the Covid-19 cases as compared to late June, when the cases were soaring exponentially. He maintained that the case admissions and deaths have also reduced over the last few days. The Chairman revealed that NaCOVERC has increased testing from 3000 to 5000 per week in order to ensure that more people are tested.

He appealed to all Sierra Leoneans to take the vaccine, as it will help boost their immune system, and further urged all to wear face masks at all times and avoid public gatherings, in order to keep themselves safe from the virus.

He added that the measures instituted by the President in June of this year were effective and that the country is now recording single digit cases, adding that if it continues like that, things will change for the better.

“Corona is here and corona is in the world. The best way to protect yourself is to take the vaccine and observe the necessary precautions by washing of hands, avoiding public gatherings and taking of the vaccine,” he said.

According to the Director of Health Services, Dr. Mohamed A. Vandi, more testing and more vaccination is the way to go, as that will enable the reopening of the country just as in the USA and England. “All we have to do now is to ensure that almost 99% of our people take the vaccine so as to prevent them from the virus,” he said, adding that the virus will have to be with us for a long time and we have to be ready to deal with it.

Further presentations were made by various pillar leads including, the Heads of Operations, Testing, Surveillance, Technology, Laboratory, Communication, among others.

The conference was chaired by the erudite Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Solomon Jamiru esq.

(C) The Calabash Newspaper

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