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NaCOVERC re-introduces tougher measures - to combat 2nd wave of coronavirus

By Mohamed Bangura (Intern)

The National COVID-19 Emergency Response Center (NaCOVERC) has re-introduced tougher measures in response to what appears to be a second wave and a new strain of COVID-19 hitting Sierra Leone and other parts of Africa.

Effective today (Monday January 25, 2021) - and lasting for two weeks, there will be a 10pm to 05:00am curfew nationwide, a weekend ban on restaurants and bars and restriction of movement into and out of the western area- the epicenter of the pandemic, unless for essential travelers who will require an electronic pass as well as a negative COVID-19 test result.

Also, places of worship will be allowed to hold services for not more than one and half hour (90 minutes) and where more than one and half hour service may be conducted, there will be thorough infection prevention and control (IPC) cleaning at intervals. Ban on nightclubs remain in force.

According to the Interim National Coordinator of NaCOVERC, Brig. (Rtd) Kellie Hassan Conteh, a mandatory wearing of face masks in public buildings and public transport will also be fully implemented by his team.

He told a news conference in Freetown that the re-introduction of the aforementioned measures was informed by the surge in COVID-19 infections for the last few weeks.

He assured that all the measures outlined will be fully enforced with defaulters facing the full force of the law.

“Our nation took appropriate measures to keep COVID-19 in check during the first Wave. We must with vigor and extra vigilance put together measures as one nation to address this second wave,” Bragaider (Rtd.) Kellie Conteh Said.

Responding from questions, Spokesperson for NaCOVERC, Solomon Jamiru said they will not entertain or encourage any social gathering of the political class.

He added: “We want to use this opportunity to talk to all and sundry that the message is for all of us. We wouldn't want a situation where it would appear that we are setting one standard for a group of Sierra Leoneans and a totally distinct set of other standards for others. For us at NaCOVERC we believe that nobody is above or beyond accountability.”

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