LIBERIA: As The Spread Of Ebola Gets Serious, Senate Pushes For State of Emergency

The Liberian Senate has decided to meet with the House of Representatives to proceed to advise President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to
declare a state of emergency in the wake of the growing spread of the deadly
Ebola disease in the country.

A state of emergency may be declared by the President, in consultation with the National Legislature, under Article 86 (b) of the Liberian Constitution, only where there is a threat or outbreak of war or civil unrest affecting the existence, security or well-being of the Republic amounting to a clear and present danger.

The Senate holds the opinion that the outbreak of Ebola is a threat to the existence and livelihood of Liberians, and imposes a serious danger to the well-being of women, children, boys and girls.

According to the Liberia News Agency, Plenary reached the decision following briefings and discussions from the Chairman of the Committee on Health, Dr. Peter Coleman, on July 17.

The committee in its report said that at least 107 persons have died from the disease since its outbreak in the country.

Coleman, in the report, stated that the disease has spread to seven counties in Liberia, namely Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa, Bomi and Montserrado, and is far ahead of what the health sector alone is able to deal with.

“Ladies and Gentleman, this disease has no border and knows no one, let’s take it seriously and sensitize our people on how to contain this virus before it spreads to the remaining eight counties,” he maintained.

He added that even though money is important to set up isolation units, have burial teams, and provide protective gears for those counties in the response phase, the issues of carrying out the message by every citizen must be key in the containment of this deadly Ebola virus.

Recently, Maryland Senator Dan Morias proposed the declaration of state of emergency in the country, because Liberians were not adhering to simple instructions on how to stop the spread of the killer disease.

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