By Alhaji Mohamed wusha-Conteh AFP 27 March 2020 updated 10:00
The Forum of Islamic Organisation for Peaceful Coexistence in Serra Leone comprising of the Sunni, Shia and Ahmadiyya sect communities has launched its Coronavirus sensitization drive at the Texaco Lorry Park on Friday 27th March, 2020.
In launching the sensitization program, the Hon. Minister Hon. Haja Baindu Dassama stressed the need for compliance of Government regulations as all the measures put in place will help save the lives of the public. She encouraged people to avoid public gathering, wash their hands regularly, avoid congregational prayers, and that funeral must not exceed twenty five people.
She commended the Forum of Islamic Organisation for their strides in complimenting the effort of the Government to reach out to the public on preventive measures against the deadly Coronavirus and urge religious leaders to continuously educate the public especially on the ban on religious prayers in the Mosque as we are in a situation where the Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic.
In his remarks, spiritual head of sunni who doubles as Chief Imam Jamieu Jalil, Dr. Ibrahim Salieu Kamara emphasized that we are living in an unprecedented time which has led to an unprecedented move of the world’s mosques being closed to the public and quoted that the Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If you hear of a disease outbreak in a land, do not go there, and if you are there during an outbreak, then do not flee from it.” He emphasized that this is the main reason that he closed his Mosque before the Press Release as the afflicted should not be mixed with the healthy.”
Dr. Kamara reiterated that citizens must abide by the advice of the Government and Medical experts that have expressed the fact that we need to implement social distancing, avoid handshake and continuous washing of hands. He commended the President for his pro active moves in putting mechanisms in place to prevent the spread of the disease.
In his remarks, Spiritual Head of Ahmadiyya who doubles as the Amir and missionary in charge of Ahmadiyya Saeed Ur Rahman assured the government that the Forum will continue to compliment the effort of Government to sensitize the people of the country. He reiterated that according to WHO, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some patients may also have a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion and aches and pains or diarrhea. Some people report losing their sense of taste and/or smell.
In his remarks, spiritual head of the Shia who doubles as Chief Imam Freetown Central Mosque, Sheikh Ahmad Tejan Sillah encourage all to wash their hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water, Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze, avoid close contact with people who are unwell, stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell. He emphasized that Islam has stipulated preventive measures 1400 years ago and if adhered to we will live in peace and save the lives of others.
Other speakers of the ceremony include the President of the Forum of Islamic organization for peaceful coexistence Alhaji Justice Abubakarr King, Vice President Motor Drivers Union and Local Unit Commander Texaco Lorry Park