Leaked Ministry of Health Ebola drill excercise causes unnecessary panic in Sierra Leone

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Drill notice that caused the panic

A leaked emergency health simulation from the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone went viral on social media networks yesterday.

The letter attached before reported that Ebola cases had been found in Sierra Leone.

“There have been a total of five confirmed laboratory cases in Sierra Leone, three cases from Bo District and two cases in the Western Area Urban (Freetown),” reads part of the press release.

Sierra Leone’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Amara Jambai says there is no case of Ebola in the country. He said that the release was intended for internal use only as part of a simulation exercise to test the country’s preparedness in case of a real outbreak.

Sierra Leoneans however received the message with fear and panic with many taking to the social media to express dissatisfaction whiles others raising awareness.

Gibril Mannah, Freetown-based journalist, said he was in disbelief when he heard the news.

“I got the news from my cousin who called me from Bo. He cautioned me to be careful as there are now reports of Ebola cases in Bo. This I said couldn’t be true and decided to do further enquiries,” said Mannah.

He said that his fears were however, lessened after he received another release this morning from Sierra Leone’s Chief Medical Officer.

Chief Medical Minister’s notice that eased the tension.

Elisha Jabbie, another Freetown resident said thankfully she hadn’t seen the drill release.

“I only got the news now, but I pray and hope that there’s no iota of truth in such information. As far as I know, Sierra Leone has long been declared free of the Ebola virus and we don’t even want to hear any news of such again,” said Jabbie.

She furher cautioned the Sierra Leonean government to be in a position to manage their documents as some information may lead to security threat.

Abdul Aziz Barrie, a student in Freetown, said he believed there was and outbreak when he saw the drill release.

“When I initially heard it, I was surprised because the Ministry of Health did not issue out any press release that was aired by our local media houses, but I later got news that it was only a simulation exercise” said Barrie.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, is currently faced with an Ebola outbreak with recent cases registered in neighbouring Uganda.

Sierra Leone was declared Ebola free on November 7th, 2015 . There have been no new cases of Ebola in West Africa since then.