FREETOWN, March 24 (Xinhua)-- Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio on Tuesday declared a state of public emergency as a preventive measure against COVID-19.
"The rapid global spread of the coronavirus poses a great risk to human life and can cause enormous socio-economic disruption in Sierra Leone. This situation, therefore, requires effective measures to prevent, protect, and curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease in Sierra Leone," said the president.
The president's declaration made it clear that it is not a lockdown and nobody should use it as an excuse to hoard goods, hike prices, or engage in acts of lawlessness.
"This public emergency is not meant to make the lives of Sierra Leoneans difficult or unbearable," he said.
Though no case has been reported in the country, the government has taken a raft of measures to prevent the pandemic including a ban on international flights.