Sierra Leone to impose nationwide lockdown over COVID-19

Sierra Leone's President Julius Maada Bio addresses the audience during an event in which he declared national emergency on rape and sexual violence, in Freetown, Sierra Leone February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Cooper Inveen
Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio./AFP

Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio has declared a three-day nationwide lockdown from May 3 to further curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Epidemiological data and other evidence indicate that there is community transmission of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone,” the president told the nation late Thursday, adding that all other existing measures, including the curfew and restrictions on inter-district travel, would remain in full force.

The government has decided to intensify contact tracing and detection, scale up testing and isolation, and expand treatment to fight against the pandemic, Bio said.

He urged citizens to adhere strictly to all hygiene protocols and healthcare directives.

As of Friday morning, Sierra Leone has reported 124 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with seven deaths.