Sierra Leone’s government made a hard decision and declared the longest ever state of emergency despite zero cases of coronavirus. Officially, the country is not under lockdown, the local media reported Wednesday.
Sierra Leone remains coronavirus-free African nation, however, its president decided to declare a 12-month state of a public health emergency, Andalou Agency reported.
The state of emergency should help Sierra Leone to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, said President Julius Maada Bio. He added this is not a lockdown and should not be used as an excuse to hoard goods or hike prices. Bio added that Sierra Leone will continue to deploy the armed forces and police to enforce compliance with all public health directives.
So far, the West African country where live some 7.5 million people as yet has no registered COVID-19 cases, the World Health Organization figures show.
While epidemiologists have warned the coronavirus crisis could extend for many months, most governments worldwide have announced measures that extend for weeks or months, not an entire year.
“The rapid global spread of the coronavirus poses an immense risk to human beings that can lead to major loss of life and can cause socioeconomic disruption in Sierra Leone,” said Bio in a televised speech.
The nation’s leader explained that the current situation requires effective measures to prevent, protect, and curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone preferred a state of emergency as a measure to tackle coronavirus
While coronavirus is shaking Italy and Spain, the African nations have already introduced numerous measures to stem the virus’ spread, including closing schools, imposing travel restrictions, and banning large gatherings.
After emerging in Wuhan last December, the novel pathogen, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 170 countries and regions. The World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic.
Out of more than 423,000 confirmed cases worldwide, the death toll now stands at almost 19,000, while over 108,000 have recovered.