Operation Northern Push makes headway


- NERC boss reports

July 23, 2015 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

Chief Executive Officer of the National Ebola Response Center (NERC) yesterday affirmed that the Northern Province which has recorded a spike in new confirmed Ebola cases in the last four months is now making considerable progress with ‘Operation Northern Push’.

Rtd. Major Alfred Palo Conteh told a press briefing at Cockerill in Freetown that there have been no new confirmed cases of the virus in the last 11 days in Kambia and that there is only one house presently under quarantine in the district.

“In the North, Port Loko and Kambia are making good progress with Operation Northern Push. Kambia has also been working hard and to great effect. There have been no new cases for 11 days now and all quarantines, except one, have successfully come to an end,” reported the NERC boss.

Rtd. Major Conteh noted that they are facing challenges in the Western Area as the new case reported at Patton Street in the east of the city last weekend was a concern to them, adding that 13 of those contacted have already been quarantined with high expectancy of positive cases.

“It is in the Western Area that we are still facing challenges,” said Mr. Conteh. “The new case from Patton Street last weekend was of a particular concern as the origin of the transmission is yet unknown. But the 13 high risk contacts associated with this new case are in quarantine.
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He further told newsmen that though there has been no new contacts outside quarantined homes in Port Loko, there were however reports of illegal burials particularly in Mabureh Kasseh Chiefdom, which he said has the pomposity of sparking new Ebola cases.

He promised to visit the chiefdom and hold the Paramount Chief accountable “for his lack of oversight in their responsibilities”.

Speaking on the possible dangers the rainy season may pose to ending the disease, the retired military man said it is a top priority and a matter of grave concern for NERC to ensure every case is put under control. He alluded to the recent flooding at the GOAL Treatment Center in Port Loko District, which he said was managed well.

“There is no doubt that we now have the necessary facilities to deal with the number of suspected cases the rainy season will bring and any spike in new confirmed cases that we might see,” he stated.