President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Announces More Measures To Fight Ebola
By Prince Nagbe
MONROVIA, July 31 (LINA) – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced additional measures aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) that has claimed the lives of several Liberians.
As part of the measures, according to President Sirleaf, who chairs the National Taskforce against Ebola, ordered that all non-essential staff of government ministries and agencies be placed on compulsory leave for 30 days, a decision she said will be determined by the heads of the ministries and agencies.
Making the declaration in a nationwide address from the Foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wednesday evening, President Sirleaf also ordered that all borders that are to reopen will be directly supervised and controlled by officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN).
According to President Sirleaf, BIN officers assigned at those borders should work with assigned health authorities to ensure strict adherence to all preventive measures, including preliminary testing for fever.
The Liberian leader further ordered the closure of all schools pending a directive from the Ministry of Education and that all markets at border areas, including Foya, Bo-Waterside and Ganta, are also ordered closed until further notice.
She called on owners of video clubs and entertainment centers to improve sanitation at their centers, including facilities for washing of hands prior to entering and leaving as well as restrict opening hours and the number of people permitted to enter those facilities; adding “all citizens are seriously advised to avoid public and
President said all Government travels will be seriously restricted and limited to only those that are determined to be absolutely necessary and critical and has ordered that Vice President Joseph Boakai and few cabinet members will attend the ensuing US-Africa Leadership Summit.
The National Taskforce Chair on Ebola also called on authorities of the Ministry of Health and other relevant health authorities to consider cremating all victims of the Ebola virus to avoid tempering with the dead and polluting water sources.
The President said, several communities will be quarantined based upon recommendations from the Ministry of Health and other health authorities, and that only health care workers will be permitted to move in and out of those areas, pointing out that food and other medical support will be provided to those communities and affected individuals.
She declared that increase in the prices of sanitation commodities used in the fight against the virus will be treated as an offence against the people of Liberia and directed the Ministry of Commerce to enforce this order.
The President then declared commodities such as soap, chlorine, buckets and sensitizers as among items to be imported duty free.
The Liberian Leader then ordered all security apparatuses, under the directive of the Ministries of Justice and National Defense to enforce all of these measures announced by the National Taskforce on Ebola.
President Sirleaf then called on Liberians to adhere to the measures announced as well as other extra measures that will be announced by Ministry of Health to keep themselves safe.
“The Government will do its part; but you must do yours; denying that the disease exists is not doing your part to keep yourself and love ones safe; hiding sick people not doing your part to keep yourself and love ones safe; ignoring the signs and not reporting it to the health care authorities are not the ways by which we keep ourselves safe” the president advised.
The President noted “the sooner we unite in fighting the disease the sooner we will all overcome the disease and return ourselves to how we have always lived”.