Senator John Ballout
Maryland Lawmakers Stunned As Ebola Hits County
By: Winnie S. T. Dixon
MONROVIA, September 15 (LINA) – Two lawmakers of Maryland County have expressed dismay over the spread of the Ebola outbreak to the southeast of the country.
Senator John Ballout and Representative Bhofal Chambers registered their concern in an interview with the Liberia News Agency Monday.
Ballout said he had hoped that somehow the county would have been spared the outbreak of the Ebola disease, noting, “The day I received the news constituted the worst day of my tenure as a senator”.
According to the senator, the virus entered the county when an infected man and his grandchild travelled from Grand Gedeh where he had been declared positive with the Ebola virus.
Senator Ballout also noted that the victim came from Grand Kru County in a chartered Taxi in search of treatment, while the Taxi was en route to Monrovia, and that the safest route to enter Monrovia is Grand Gedeh through Maryland.
According to the Senator when the victim got stuck in Grand Gedeh it was when the health authorities and citizens told him not to stay in the county because of his health status
He said after he left Grand Gedeh and was passing through Maryland at which time he died and was buried upon an instruction from the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bernice Dahn.
According to the Ministry of Health situational report 119 dated September 11, 2014, Maryland County has one suspected and five probable cases, out of which four persons have already died of the virus.
Also speaking, Pleebo District lawmaker Chambers indicated his disappointment with the level of surveillance of Ebola contacts even during the state of emergency.
The lawmaker noted that considering the nature of the disease, “someone would expect that all persons who have contacted the virus would be traced and names shared with security at check-points to prevent further spread of the disease to new localities.”
He stated that with the spread of the outbreak, southeasterners would be greatly disadvantaged since no treatment unit exists in the entire region.