To Fight Deadly Ebola, Liberian Government Provides US$5m, Announces More Measures To Deal With The Virus

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced that the Government is providing US$5 million as initial contribution towards the fight against Ebola.

This brings to US$5.8 million the amount the Liberian Government has provided to fight the dreaded disease.

According to President Sirleaf, the dreaded Ebola virus has over tasked Liberia’s public health facilities and capabilities and is rapidly spreading throughout Guinea and Sierra Leone, posing serious national, regional and international threat to public health and safety to the gravest proportion.

The Liberian leader made the statement when she addressed the nation on additional measures to fight the Ebola disease contained in the National Action Plan presented by the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday in Monrovia.

Meanwhile, the Government of Switzerland has also donated 500,000 Euros to Medicins Sans Frontieres Switzerland (MSF-Suisse) in its work to combat the Ebola virus in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Also, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has also allocated 500,000 Euros to support the work of MSF-Suisse in the fight against the disease in the country.     

As part of donations made to the Government of Liberia for the Ebola fight, the Federal Republic of Nigeria donated US$500,000, while the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also gave the Liberian Government US$500,000.

President Sirleaf is at the same time lauding MSF and Samaritan’s Purse, who amidst risks, have continued to assist the Government in curbing the national pandemic.

She also thanked the U.S-based Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) for their technical support, noting, that “the Government’s immediate strategy is to contain the spread and care for the afflicted with a goal of no new cases.”

Meanwhile, the Liberian Government 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
entertainment centers”.

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”.

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