- On April 10, 2020
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Source: https://snradio.net/ | 02 April 2020
The Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association notes the announcement of a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone and attendant measures proclaimed.
The Association notes that one of our colleagues and the husband of one of our colleagues have tested positive.
We want to express our strongest show of solidarity to these colleagues and their families as they get through this challenging moments. We want to express our firm support and also called on the public to show solidarity to all healthcare workers, including those who may have directly or indirectly come in contact with the confirm case.
As an association we are not happy with the measures that have been taken so far, namely testing of contacts. There is strong indication that there is already community transmission of the virus within the Sierra Leone population. In keeping with stringent measures to control the virus, we as an Association recommend that:-
– The period of Lockdown (I.e. Limiting movement of citizens) be extended to 14 (fourteen) days (based on the known disease incubation period), where all previously quarantined be located and tested and if positive their contacts traced,isolated and tested.
– Ensure that PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and N95 masks are immediately available to all health facilities for healthcare workers as the frontline against the disease
– All 26 (twenty six) doctors and staff at Ola During Children’s Hospital are potential contacts of Case 2 and should be isolated and tested after quarantine whether symptomatic or not.
– A designated and adequate facility be made available immediately for affected frontline healthcare workers.
– To strongly consider all necessary support and compensation for frontline healthcare workers who will be risking their lives and those of their families to provide much needed service to Sierra Leone.
We urge the Ministry of Health/Govt. Of Sierra Leone to act with extreme urgency to control the COVID-19.
The loss of our colleagues and other healthcare workers during the Ebola epidemic are still fresh in our minds.
Meanwhile we advise the general public to remain calm and observe all messages on personal hygiene, and social distancing.
Together we can fight COVID-19
DR. Delwin M. Findlay
SierraLeone’s Medical and Dental Association has called on the government to extend the three-day lockdown to 14 days so it lasts for the known incubation period for the coronavirus.
While urging the public to be calm, they also called for the hundreds of previously quarantined travelers to “be located and tested and if positive their contacts traced, isolated and tested.” This, after the index case turned out to be a traveler who’d been serving a 14-day quarantine in a hotel.
In a statement by the doctors’ president, Delwin Findlay, the association elicits public support for healthcare workers in these trying times, and urges the government to make available at all health facilities protective gear and N95 masks.
Recalling the days of Ebola when more than 200 healthcare workers died, Dr Findlay says they want a “designated and adequate facility…for affected frontline healthcare workers”, as well as compensation for them.