By Bampia James Bundu

The Chairman National Corana Virus Response Center (NaCOVERC) Mr. 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 re-listed.

He made this statement at a specially organised press conference held in 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 underreporting 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 underreporting its COVID-19 cases, the Chairman assured Sierra Leoneans and the UK Government that the report was referring to the number of people exposed to the virus, and not those affected by it.

He maintained that as of this week, cases of COVID-19 in the country 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 been reduced.

Mr. 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 the washing of hands, avoiding public gatherings and taking 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, and Communication, among others.

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

By Bah

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