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14 Feb 2020 | 01:38 AM UTC

Sierra Leone: Quarantine measures for travelers from China in place as of February 6

Government implements quarantine measures for travelers arriving from China as of February 6 due to ongoing coronavirus outbreak



Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health and Sanitation announced on Thursday, February 6, that quarantine measures are in place for all travelers arriving in the country from China due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Any individual who has traveled from China within 14 days of their arrival will be subject to a 14-day quarantine at one of three designated hospitals. Enhanced screen measures are also in place at all border crossing points and at Lungi International Airport (FNA).

No COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Sierra Leone as of Thursday, February 13.

Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 28 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spread of the disease.