Members of the Sierra Leonean Team who travelled to Glasgow to represent their country at the Commonwealth Games have made it clear they do not wish to return to their home country as it is being ravaged by the killer Ebola virus. The team’s chef de mission, Unisa Deen Kargbo has said that the public health emergency has all his athletes worried.
And one member of the team, cyclist Mohamed Tholley, has taken his fear of returning to Sierra Leone one step further by going on the run in Britain. Tholley was due to participate in a time trial event on Thursday, but failed to show. Mr Kargo said: “Unfortunately one of our athletes has not turned up for his event and we do not know where he is. It is possible he is not coming back. The situation is very serious at home, and it is possible this is why he does not want to return. It is very bad there.
“Many people are thinking whether or not to go home now. Everybody is worried and many of them don’t want to go home now because of the Ebola. We have held several meetings with them, but they are still worried. This virus is spreading around our country and everyone is at risk of catching it. The problem is, if they want to stay on after the Commonwealth Games end, who will take care of them? They will have no accommodation, no work. How do they meet their needs? How will they get themselves employed?”
The latest Ebola has claimed 729 deaths in four West African countries, including Sierra Leone’s top Ebola specialist and infected countless other people. The virus is incredibly contagious and spreads through bodily fluids (blood, urine and sweat) and contaminated objects, killing up to 90% of people who are infected. Sufferers develop ‘flu-like symptoms which are followed by bleeding from the eyes, nose, ears, mouth and rectum.