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SIERRA LEONE - SECURITY PERSONNEL WRONGFULLY QUARANTINED DPO GROUP IN FREETOWN

The emergence of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone has been greeted with series of misconceptions and mixed feelings as the Government fight to contain the spread of the deadly disease.

In Sierra Leone today, the fight against the spread of COVID-19 has taken a different turn as security personnel are now wrongfully targeting DPO Camps. On the 21st April 2020, at around 10:00am, The United Polio Brothers and Sisters Association located at Kissy Dockyard in the Eastern part of Freetown was not spared as security personnel bulldozed into the premises of our disabled compatriots asking everyone to stay indoors. Reason, according to the personnel an inmate lady at the camp was in love with a Police Officer who has been tested positive for COVID-19. And for this singular reason, the entire population of the camp amounting to 203 inmates are placed in quarantine.

What I refer to as a blatant human rights abuse was that there was no provision made by the government to upkeep our vulnerable disabled compatriots while in quarantine. For two days, there was nothing for them to eat or drink as they were forbidden to buy food or be given food. Even those who were engaged in cookery selling were stigmatized and bared from doing their business which is their only source of sustenance.

The Chairman of the group Mr. Paul Osman Kabia went on the social media reporting about their predicament. However, as God could have it, and due to the timely intervention of some of our strong human rights advocates, the quarantine has been lifted yesterday 23rd April 2020 at around 4pm. Some concerned friends and brothers have donated money to the group in order to take care of their immediate food needs.

According to reliable sources, should such a treatment continue, it will lead to yet another crisis in the country.

Finally, as at the time of submitting this article Sierra Leone has 61 confirmed cases and one death according to reports. About 608 people are in isolation center.

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