Ebola-Scarred Sierra Leone Calls Year-Long Coronavirus Emergency

(Bloomberg) --

Sierra Leone, one of the few countries yet to declare a case of coronavirus, introduced a 12-month state of emergency to deal with the disease.

The nationwide measure is effective immediately, President Julius Maada Bio said Tuesday on state television in the capital, Freetown.

“This is not a lockdown and nobody must use this as an excuse to hoarde goods, hike prices or engage in acts of lawlessness,” Bio said.

Sierra Leone was one of three countries at the epicenter of an Ebola epidemic that began in 2014 and killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa. The nation’s $4.1 billion economy is still struggling to recover from the effects of that outbreak.

The government has also had to deal with the aftermath of a mudslide in Freetown in 2017 that killed about 1,100 people.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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