ANKARA

Sierra Leone eased COVID-19 lockdown restrictions that were imposed to curb the spread of the virus, the president said on Tuesday.

In a series of tweets, President Julius Maada Bio said the country has seen high recovery and discharge rates, lower infection rates, and proportionally lower death rates.

“Effective immediately, the curfew is adjusted to the period 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. [2300-0600GMT]. I announce the lifting of the ban on inter-district travel starting on Wednesday, 24th June 2020. Once all measures are in place, commercial flights will resume in the very short run,” Bio said.

“The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School, in consultation with stakeholders, has developed comprehensive health and safety guidelines for teachers, pupils, and communities for the purpose of providing safe environment for students who are taking public examinations,” he added.

In March, Bio declared a 12-month public health emergency to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, the presidency said only essential movement will be allowed between districts across the country, including a nationwide curfew between 9 p.m. (2100GMT) and 6 a.m. (0600GMT).

With a population of 7.5 million people, Sierra Leone has so far recorded 1,340 coronavirus cases, with 55 deaths and 788 recoveries, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since originating in China last December, the pandemic has claimed nearly 473,000 lives in 188 countries and regions, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The US, Brazil, Russia and India are currently the worst-hit countries.

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