Sierra Leone lifts curfew as Covid infections slow – Daily Monitor

Sierra Leone President, Julius Maada Bio gets a Covid-19 jab on March 15, 2021. . PHOTO/FILE/COURTESY
Sierra Leone has lifted a nationwide curfew designed to curb Covid-19 infections, following a drop in new infections in the West African nation. 
In a statement on Monday evening, the country’s Covid-19 response agency Nacoverc said that an 11pm-5am curfew would be lifted with immediate effect. 
The government had announced the curfew in early July as Covid-19 infections were surging across the poor country of about 7.5 million people. 
At the time, it also imposed other restrictions including forcing restaurants and bars to close early, and temporarily shutting churches and mosques. 
Nacoverc said on Monday that places of worship will be open to people who wear face masks.
Masks are also required in schools, public buildings and on public transport.
Bars and restaurants will be able to operate as normal, according to the coronavirus-response agency, provided that customers can show a proof of vaccination against Covid-19. 
Sierra Leone has officially recorded 6,385 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, including 121 deaths.
The infection rate has slowed dramatically, however, with health officials over the past week recording new cases in the low single digits. 
A former British colony, Sierra Leone boasts huge mineral and diamond deposits but is one of the world’s poorest nations, still recovering from decades of war and disease.
The country was hard hit by the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Nearly 4,000 people died in Sierra Leone during the outbreak.
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