On Thursday, July 2, doctors treating coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients went on strike in Sierra Leone over unpaid bonuses. Patients were reportedly left without care in several of the country's treatment centers. The strike comes amid accusations that the government misappropriated funds for the country's response to the pandemic, with doctors allegedly not being paid a hazard bonus for their work. According to reports from the finance ministry, 20-percent of Sierra Leone's coronavirus expenditure has gone to purchasing SUVs and motorbikes for various government agencies, with the only medical equipment purchased being eight ventilators.
Further strikes are likely in the near term. A disruption to healthcare is to be expected while the strike continues.
Individuals are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate potential disruptions to the provision of medical services, and to avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution.
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