In a statement released last night on the Ebola crisis, Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma stated `. . . the disease is beyond the scope of any one country, or community to defeat. Its social, economic, psychological and security implications require scaling up measures at international, national, inter-agency and community levels.’
Noting that `Extra-ordinary challenges require extra-ordinary measures’, President Koroma officially declared a State of Public Emergency last night – expected to last at least 60 to 90 days. In his statement he outlined the following steps to be taken to combat the Ebola outbreak.
We are launching a National Response Plan to inaugurate Phase Two of our fight against the disease. I also hereby establish a Presidential Task Force on Ebola which I will chair to champion the implementation of the following:
- All epicenters of the disease will be quarantined;
- The police and the military will give support to health officers and NGOs to do their work unhindered and restrict movements to and from epicenters;
- Localities and homes where the disease is identified will be quarantined until cleared by medical teams;
- Public meetings and gatherings will be restricted with the exception of essential meetings related to Ebola sensitization and education;
- Active surveillance and house-to-house searches shall be conducted to trace and quarantine Ebola victims and suspects;
- Parliament is recalled to promote MPs leadership at constituency levels;
- Paramount chiefs are required to establish bye-laws that would complement other efforts to deal with the Ebola outbreak;
- Mayors, chairmen of councils and councilors are hereby required to support Ebola control measures in their local government areas;
- All deaths must be reported authorities before burial;
- New protocols for arriving and departing passengers have been instituted at the Lungi International Airport;
- Cancellation of all foreign trips by ministers and other government officials except absolutely essential engagements.
You can read the entire Presidential Statement at the link below: