NERC CEO frowns at overloading in public transport


August 21, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Chief Executive Officer of the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) Wednesday expressed his dissatisfaction with drivers who overload public vehicles following the lifting of restrictions by President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Retired Major Alfred Palo Conteh, who was speaking at NERC’s weekly press briefing in Freetown, said he has been reliably informed that owners and drivers of vehicles, especially taxis and mini-buses known locally as ‘Poda-Podas’, are taking advantage of the lifting of restrictions to overload their vehicles.

“I have asked the Sierra Leone Police and traffic authorities to look out for this and bring to book those defaulters so that the law can take its course,” he said and noted that the present stage of the Ebola fight requires everyone to act responsibly to bring the menace to an end.

With regards the outbreak, the NERC chief said the situation in the country remains encouraging as for the first time since the outbreak in May 2014, Sierra Leone recorded zero cases of Ebola last week and has gone for 12 consecutive days without recording a positive case of Ebola.

Even though it is a sign that the end is near, Conteh reminded Sierra Leoneans that the end is not yet here, as according to him, seventy-nine (79) contacts are still being monitored in quarantined homes, with every possibility that one or two new cases might be recorded.

The former Defence Minister also spoke about repeated information he had received from District Ebola Response Centres that certain individuals are engaged in secret society activities, thus reiterating that the ban on secret society activities has not been lifted, and warned that anyone caught in these acts will face the full force of the law.

“This is not a fight for only NERC and its partners, it is one that we can only win with all of us playing our individual parts. We are making progress in the fight because we have been doing the right things and making tough decisions as a country,” he noted and urged all and sundry not to look back now and reverse the gains already achieved.