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Tuesday, May 17, 2022
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Bike riders warned against aiding escape of Ebola victims

By Ahmed J. Sheriff in Kenema

Health workers in protective clothing wait in an emergency ward as preparation for receiving any emergency Ebola patients. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency
Health workers in protective clothing wait in an emergency ward as preparation for receiving any emergency Ebola patients. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency

Paramount of Jawei Chiefdom in the Kailahun District, PC Musa Ngombukla Kallon, has warned all motorbike riders operating within his chiefdom and its immediate environs against the transporting of Ebola suspects and unidentified sick persons from one point to the other.

Addressing a cross section of the chiefdom residents at the Native Administrative Court Barray in Daru last week, the traditional ruler accused some commercial motorbike riders of being paid money to transport Ebola suspects from one point to the other, noting that he had long received intelligence of such “unholy practice” in his chiefdom.

“Let me warn all motorbike riders that are in the habit of aiding the escape of Ebola patients to desist forthwith because this is responsible for the spreading of the disease in the chiefdom and other communities,” warned PC Kallon. “All motorbike riders are advised in their own interest to desist from this practice or face the full force of the law.”

The paramount chief informed the meeting that a certain commercial motorbike rider by the name of Amara Kanneh is currently being quarantined, alongside his entire household, for 21 days for allegedly transporting an Ebola suspect to Kailahun recently.

Meanwhile, PC Kallon also cautioned traders against illegally inflating the prices of goods and other essential commodities, particularly foodstuff; describing the act as “unpatriotic” especially at a time the nation is battling a dreaded Ebola outbreak.

“The current situation should not be used by anybody to exploit the poor and suffering population,” he admonished.

Meanwhile, the paramount chief commended President Koroma “for taking the lead in the Ebola fight”, and also for declaring a state of public emergency.

According to him, the declaration of the state of emergency is having a positive impact in the fight against the deadly disease, thus pleading with the government to provide them with some financial support that will enable them embark on a door-to-door sensitization in the respective chiefdoms in the epicenters of the disease.

Town Speaker, Chief Samai Bao, in his contribution, pointed out that negligence and denial still remain stumbling blocks in combating the epidemic, but noted that a committee has been established comprising of the Sierra Leone Police, drivers’ union, biker riders and chiefs to raise awareness on the disease.

Chief Samai further informed the meeting that by-laws against sheltering of strangers within the chiefdom, hiding sick persons, burying of the dead without approval from medical officers, among others, have been formulated to aid the fight against the further spread of the disease.
He said a fine of at least three hundred thousand Leones (Le300,000) will be levied on defaulters.

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