Monday 4th August, 2014, is the day set aside by government in Sierra Leone to conduct thorough door to door inspections in Freetown and other major towns in the country. On this day set aside by the government, it is expected that all and sundry would keep to their homes and abodes in order to be reached by medical personnel tasked with checking for Ebola victims and victims of other killer diseases.
A press release issued by the Office of Government Spokesman at the initial stage of the Ebola virus, stated that Sierra Leone’s health development partners continue to fight the outbreak of the Ebola disease that has so far claimed the lives of 16 people.
The release adds that the Government through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and other participating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) is putting the following measures in place with immediate effect as part of an overall national strategy in addressing the outbreak of the Ebola virus:
- All vehicles and their passengers entering and leaving Kailahun district must subject themselves to screening by authorities at various checkpoints;
- All schools in Kailahun district are closed with immediate effect, and that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is making arrangements with the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for those students slated to sit to the national Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) to take the exams at a later date;
- To minimize the risk of transmission from person to person, Government hereby orders the prohibition of all public gatherings, including but not limited to, cinemas, cultural activities and night clubs in Kailahun district;
- That local and cross-border trade fairs (locally known as the “Lumars”) are temporarily closed until such a time when the Ebola virus would have been contained;
- That the general public is mandated to report to health authorities any person (s) or stranger (s) with symptoms of the Ebola disease in their respective communities for appropriate professional health interventions;
- All deaths across the country must be reported and certified by an authorized health professional before burial;
- All Ebola or related deaths must be buried at place of occurrence under the supervision of health personnel;
The release went further to state that the public is reassured that Government and particularly all participating MDAs are on top of the situation, and therefore calls on the general public to cooperate with the above measures as part of the national collective drive to further raise awareness to stop further spread of the disease.