Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 March 2020:
President Dr Julius Maada Bio, today held talks at State House in Freetown, with the World Bank Country Director for Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana – Pierre Frank Laporte, about the country’s preparedness for any possible Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Presenting the World Bank Chief to the president, Minister of Finance – Jacob Jusu Saffa, said that the government is pleased 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 is an outbreak.
Mr. Laporte said he is happy to be in the country and thanked the President for making time to have discussions with the World Bank country team.
He said that they are concerned about the Coronavirus, which is now affecting the whole world. He stated that the Bank is ready to support countries in case of any outbreak, adding that they are pleased with the country’s level of awareness to tackle the virus.
President Bio said that his government has been working very hard in preparing for the virus, and has put in place quite a lot of measures to keep the country safe, using the experiences learnt from the Ebola outbreak. But he said that there is more to be done.
He said that he is pleased to receive the World Bank envoy on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, noting that this is a show of partnership, especially at this critical moment.
“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 need to be taken immediately. It is good to have you here and to let us know that you are also concerned,” the president said.