His Excellency the President Julius Maada Bio has addressed the Nation today 8 April 2020 in State House, Freetown. His address came immediately after the country underwent a 3 days lock down.
In his address, the president thanked citizens for their high level of compliance and cooperation from other bodies towards the 3 days lock down as advised by the Health Care Workers of the Country. The 3 days lock-down was announced after the country recorded it first two cases of coronavirus within 24 hours. It was from the 5 April to 7 April 2020.
He advised citizens to practice sympathy and desist from stigmatization and all action that may lead to stigmatization.
The president said the contact tracing of primary and secondary contacts has been hard because of wrong detains being provided for contact tracing and said it was the duty of anyone who has come into contact or has been exposed to an infected person to report themselves to the appropriate health authority.
He also added that most of the calls placed to the 117 hotlines have proven to be prank calls and measures are going to be put in place to trace anyone found wanting of such action, their numbers would be deactivated and would later be fined.
The Police and other officials were able to arrest 5 transport boats and 36 vessels trying to enter the country even though the country’s land borders had been closed and these vessels are presently in police custody.
He warned that lab workers are not allowed to share results on social media as it is the responsibility of the ministries mandated to do so as health data was to be protected to limit stigmatization.
He also assured citizens that there will not be a lock down for now as the government will assess the situation
His excellency went further to explain why there was a 3 days lock down throughout the country. In his explanation he said was to make sure that the primary and secondary contacts of infected persons were traced and tested through contact tracing and where there was movement it would have been difficult to get in touch with these people. He also added that it was to strengthen the restrictions put in place to contain the situation.
He said the country has increased the number of labs to 5, the number of beds has also been increased from 30-70 with the preparation of Jui. These beds would be used for people that show symptoms or the ones that have tested positive for the virus.