State House, Freetown, Tuesday 10 March 2020 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has engaged the World Bank Country Director for Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana, Pierre Frank Laporte, on the state of preparedness to tackle any possible Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Presenting the World Bank Chief, Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, said that they were impressed with the Bank’s readiness to support emergency response to prevent the virus from entering the country and how to address the virus in case there was an infection, noting that they had informed the Bank about how prepared the country was.
Mr. Laporte said he was happy to be in the country and thanked the President for making time to see them. He said that they were concerned about the Coronavirus, which was affecting the rest of the world. He stated that they were ready to support countries in case of any outbreak, adding that they were also pleased with the country’s level of awareness to tackle the virus.
On his part, President Bio said that they had been working very hard and had put in place quite a lot to keep the country safe. He said that using the experience from the Ebola outbreak they had put in place a lot of precautionary measures with more to be done. He said that Sierra Leone was pleased to receive the World Bank envoy, noting that that was a show of partnership, especially at a critical moment like that.
“We are concerned enough about the virus and we are working towards prevention. But should there be any outbreak, we have also made preparations. I have done checks at the border entry points. We have put in place all that we have and have identified actions that needed to be taken immediately. It is good to have you here and to let us know that you are also concerned,” he said.
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