You are here

PRESS STATEMENT – EASE OF RESTRICTION ON SOME COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES 11/6/2015

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, since our country registered it first case of Ebola on the 25th of May 2014, my government has been working tirelessly with its international community to bring an end to this outbreak, which has infected over to 8,500 Sierra Leoneans, from which over 3,500 have died.

Through the resilience of us all, our country has continued to make steady progress in the fight against Ebola, since the country hit its worst figures in November, 2014. The numbers of confirmed cases have continued to decline for the past eight weeks and for the first time since the outbreak began in May 2014, our country went for eight consecutive days without recording a case.

Through your engagement, you members of the communities, through the engagement of local leaders, and our partners, through the hard work of our Ebola response workers, we have been able to narrow the geographic spread of the virus to now only a few districts.

These gains are encouraging, however, each and every one of us must be reminded that it is only once we record zero in every corner of our country for 42 days after our last Ebola patient at a treatment centeris discharged or safely laid to rest, that our beloved Salone will be declared Ebola-free in accordance with the International Standards. This is what happened in Liberia and what will also need to happen in Guinea for the region to be declared Ebola-free.

Let me therefore, remind all of us that to achieve this long awaited goal, complacency is our biggest challenge. You have done a great job to bring us to this stage, and with this destructive disease, the same safe practices each one of us is so familiar with are the ones that will bring us to a resilient zero.

Now more than ever is the time we must all remain vigilant in our households and communities. We must continue to call 117 to report the sick and the dead in our households and communities and provide the right information to Ebola response workers who visit our communities to investigate cases. We must continue to implement the safe and dignified burials policy. It is only by doing these right things that we can be sure of a resilient zero.

We have gone so far, let’s stay the course.

Daily updates and Statistics from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation show that we are facing challenges in Kambia and Port Loko districts, where cases are been recorded on a daily basis for the past 12 days.

I have therefore instructed the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) to carry out surge activities in Chiefdoms where cases are still been recorded in Kambia and Port Loko Districts with the sole goal of getting us to a resilient zero. The surge activities will include the follwoing:

  • Leadership from the community, including Paramount Chiefs, traditional healers, women, religious leaders and youth to take ownership, with support from the DERCs and NERC
  • Addressing Ebola in hot spots and enhancing community based surveillance across all chiefdoms in Kambia and Port Loko Districts
  • Adjusting Quarantine Homes to reflect the needs of families, including loved ones affected by the disease
  • Stronger surveillance and patrol by the RSLAF and SLP with communities to create a secure living environment
  • Strong adherence to the rule of law, again to protect you and your community.

With the above in mind, I have instructed the security to institute chiefdom level curfew and restriction on movement from 6 pm to 6 am in Kambia and Port Loko Districts with immediate effect.

The curfew, restrictions and the surge activities will last for a 21 day period. Offenders will be detained during this 21 day period and taken to the court of law thereafter.

As we make progress in the fight against Ebola and following representations made by our religious and business leaders, my government is working with its International Partners and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to start our economic recovery and developmental programmes. In this context, we have revisited the restrictions currently in place, and decided to lift some of them in order to support economic recovery activities in the country and allow for more business activities.

Restrictions on the following businesses will be eased, provided they adhere to all Ebola Prevention Protocols, such as temperature screening of employees and customers, hand washing and prevention of overcrowding during business hours:

  • Supermarkets are now allowed to operate their businesses from 6 am to 9 pm Mondays to Saturdays.
  • Restaurants are allowed to operate from the hours of 6 am to 10 pm Mondays to Sundays.
  • Markets and General Trading are allowed to operate from 6 am to 9 pm Mondays to Saturdays
  • Okadas to operate from 6 am to 9 pm daily

 

Inspections and monitoring will be set in place, and failure by the above businesses to adhere to the Ebola protocols listed above will result in closure of such businesses.

The public is also hereby advised that all other restrictions remain in force until we get to zero plus 42, and must be adhered to as stipulated under the public State of Emergency Laws of our country.

Our goal is to get to a resilient zero 

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer