‘Paopa’ vaccination stumbles
Part of the latest measures announced by the Government to curb the third wave of the Coronavirus has come under strong criticism for violating fundamental human rights.
Following the outbreak of the third wave called Delta Variance, the government in its usually pragmatic response quickly put out a series of preventive measures including a restriction to access Government Offices without producing a certificate of having taken at least one dose of the vaccine, which implies compulsory (Paopa) vaccination.
In disagreement with the restriction of movement, the Executive Director of Lagal Link, a human rights advocacy group in Freetown, has vehemently condemned the Bio-led administration for what he described as an “abuse of fundamental rights”. He said the measures violate section 18 of the constitution of Sierra Leone as regards freedom of movement and association, calling it “disrespect to religious belief”.
He noted that the country is not in a state of emergency, adding that due process should be followed in accordance with section 170 (7) of the constitution.
“It does not make sense in a democracy to force people against their rights”, he said.
He called on the Government to go back to the drawing board and heighten awareness, while urging the people to observe all COVID measures with the exception of compulsory vaccination.
On his part, the Health Education Manager and Risk Communication Lead at the National Corona Virus Emergency Response Center (NaCOVERC), Harold Thompson, denied the imposition of mandatory vaccination and disclosed that the measures taken by NaCOVERC had the approval of the Presidential Task Force.
He also cited the Public Health Ordinance, which he said gives powers to Public Health Authorities to take suitable measures to protect citizens during health emergencies.
By Abdul Kuyateh
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