By Augustine Sankoh
National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) has stated that the NERC in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology are planning towards the re-opening of schools in certain areas in the country that are not Ebola hot spots, a senior NERC official said on Thursday.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NERC, Rtd. Major Pallo Conteh, told a news conference in Freetown that “based on the advice of the medical team, the NERC has advised the Education Ministry not to have a blanket re-opening of schools. Schools will re-open in districts that are doing fine in the fight against Ebola,” he said.
The NERC CEO said they are observing the trend with regards the number of new infections in the next two weeks, adding that schools might not re-open in Freetown, Waterloo Rural District, Port Loko, Bombali and Kambia.
He said they are engaging the medical experts and the outcome will determine how soon schools will re-open. “I am in support of sending our children to school, but we will not risk their lives,” he said.
Rtd. Major Conteh said the continued practice of unsafe burials remains one of the biggest threats in the fight against the epidemic. “Let this be a message to people in positions of authority everywhere that we will not tolerate compromise of public safety. If you condone unsafe burials, your job and your livelihood will be forfeited. You can run but you cannot hide. We will hunt you down and bring the full force of the law against you,” he warned.