Monday November 7 marks exactly one year since Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the country will be observing a three-minute silence.
The country’s presidency emphasized the need to remember not just those who lost their lives to the disease but also the unity of the nation to overcome the epidemic.
At exactly 11 AM, the whole country is expected to embark on a three minutes silence, with flags on government building lowering half mast, a statement signed by the Secretary to Sierra Leonean President, Ernest Bai Koroma, ordered.
Traffic flow will halt and lessons in schools and all other learning institutions will stop for the course of the period.
“If you are driving, stop the vehicle for three minutes; if you are at the market buying or selling, stop for three minutes; anything you are doing, stop for three minutes,” Government spokesman, Mr Agibu Jalloh, said on state broadcaster SLBC.
The three minutes silence will be followed by a televised nationwide address by the President who is expected to urge the nation to participate in ongoing post-Ebola recovery development initiatives.
Sierra Leone was one of the hardest hit by the epidemic, recording some 14, 124 cases and 3,956 deaths. Guinea, where Ebola begun in March 2014 later spread to Liberia and then Sierra Leone, claiming 11, 323 lives among 28, 646 people infected by the haemorrhagic fever disease, according to WHO figures.
Most of the cases and deaths were concentrated in the three neighbouring Mano River Union countries but there were isolated cases and deaths in other countries, including Nigeria, Mali, Spain, UK and the US.
Sierra Leone was declared free of the virus for the second time on March 17 this year.