Covid-19: Sierra Leone records high Covid-19 recoveries

Monday June 1 2020

Covid-19 test.

A health worker takes a swab from a woman during a community Covid-19 coronavirus testing campaign in Abuja, Nigeria, on April 15, 2020. The latest figures in Sierra Leone show a high recovery rate compared to the number of Covid-19 infections. PHOTO | KOLA SULAIMON | AFP 

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Despite increasing number of new Covid-19 cases and amidst dwindling public trust in the system, the latest figures in Sierra Leone show a high recovery rate compared to the number of infections.

Figures released by the National Covid-19 Emergency Operation Center (NACOVERC) on Sunday show that 52 percent of those who were put under treatment recovered. The number represents 454 people out of a total 861 who tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

A total of 6,442 tests have been done so far, according to NACOVERC. 

Officials say the statistics are a sign that the system is working, and citizens should trust it.

“We can see from our recoveries that we have made substantial progress. It means our healthcare workers and health professionals are up to the task and they are making the ultimate sacrifice,” said Solomon Jamiru, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and spokesman for NACOVERC.

The appeal comes in the midst of dwindling public trust partly fuelled by reports of controversial test results and a rise in community transmission.


As of Sunday, the country had recorded 861 confirmed and 46 deaths. Fifteen of the country’s 16 districts have all recorded Covid-19 cases, despite an inter-district lockdown.

There is also growing concern over the number of deaths vis-à-vis confirmed cases compared to other countries in the region.

Sierra Leone has the second highest death rate among its Mano River Union neighbours of Guinea, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.

Guinea has the highest total cumulative number of cases at 3,656 with 22 deaths; Cote d’Ivoire has 2,750 cases and 32 deaths; while Liberia recorded 273 cases and 27 deaths.

The recovery numbers for Sierra Leone began rising earlier in May, and realised a sudden jump between Thursday and Friday, when a total of 89 people were discharged from isolation centres. On Saturday, 29 people had recovered.

About 80 percent of the country’s coronavirus cases are either mild or asymptomatic, which officials say increases the rate of recovery.

Last week, authorities struggled to dismiss suggestions that its testing capacity was flawed. This was after the NACOVERC said 67 out of 85 Sierra Leonean returnees from Kuwait tested positive for the virus, despite having been cleared by tests conducted by the gulf state before their departure.

The government says it is stepping up efforts to cut the transmission of the virus. As part of this, it has ordered the compulsory use of facemask in public effective June 1. Police have been ordered to arrest and prosecute anyone found walking the street without wearing a facemask.