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Due to Porous Borders, MoHS Official Says: Bike Riders Smuggling Passengers from Guinea

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By Mohamed Bakarr Kamara

Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) officials have over the weekend conducted inspections at the Freetown International Airport in Lungi, Port Loko and Kambia Gbalamuya checkpoints. During the inspections the Ministry of Health officials found that bike riders are using porous entry points into Kambia to reportedly bring passengers from Guinea into Sierra Leone. The inspectors were led by a senior MoHS official, Harold Thomas.

Since the announcement by the government of Sierra Leone to prevent Coronavirus, the government put in measures restricting the movement of people from neighboring countries to Sierra Leone and vice-versa.

The government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation also deployed medical and security personal at major entry points into Sierra Leone to ensure that they check the health status of all those entering the country; more particularly to verify that they are not infected by the Coronavirus.

The inspection by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation officials is to have first-hand information on the implementation of the emergency measures put in place by the government of President Julius Maada Bio, according to Harold Thomas who is the Manager, Health Education Division at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

Speaking on the challenges of managing these many entry points, Ishaqa Barrie who is the Senior Public Health Superintendent at the Gbalamuya Checkpoint informed AYV that bike riders are in the habit of by-passing the main entry points; prefer instead to use porous entry points that lack security presence for obvious reasons, which according to Harold Thomas, is not only a security risk, but a health risk in these uncertain times.

Meanwhile, it is clear that Coronavirus is hitting hard on neighboring West African countries and some are finding it hard to cope. Sierra Leone on the other hand has not recorded any case of the Coronavirus while the government is putting proactive and stiff measures in place to prevent the virus from entering the country.

Kambia and Freetown International Airport are well known as busy entry points before now and a source of huge revenue generation for the government. But presently, the Freetown International Airport and the Gbalamuya Checkpoint at Kambia are silent as a graveyard.

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