LIBERIA: Ellen Lifts Curfew, Re-Opens Main Borders -But Concern Mounts For Ebola Penetration

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf over the weekend ordered the lifting of the curfew imposed nationwide at the height of the Ebola outbreak, and further reopening of all the country’s main borders.

According an Executive Mansion press statement quoting the Liberian leader, the order took effect yesterday, Sunday, February 22.

The release said the decision is based on the advice of the National Security Council of Liberia.

The curfew was imposed as part of several measures to contain the further spread of the deadly Ebola virus and ensure national security.

Meanwhile, the Liberian leader has requested the Ministry of Health to ensure the adoption and implementation of health protocols that will prevent the importation of the virus through any of the crossing points.
 
She also mandated members of the Joint Security assigned at the borders to work closely with the health authorities to ensure adherence to the health protocols and safety measures at all times.

President Sirleaf, in a nationwide address announced the imposition of a curfew throughout the country beginning Wednesday, August 20, 2014from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

On September 8, 2014, President Johnson Sirleaf announced an adjustment in the curfew, which ran from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 a.m. The curfew has been in place since then.

The Liberian leader stressed that the additional measures were intended to contain the spread of the Ebola virus overall and particularly in the hardest-hit areas.

The Government’s actions were necessitated by the rapid spread of the disease, coupled with the death toll due largely to denials, cultural burying practices and failure to adhere to health protocols.

But speaking to this paper over the weekend, dozens of Liberians who took note of the President’s statement have expressed their reservation, noting that the reopening of all borders at this time is not feasible, expressing fear that the influx of residents from these border countries may cause the rebirth of the decease.
 
They also expressed fear that the reopening of these borders without firstly studying the aftermath of the bouncing back of the virus from where it originally came from may shame the robust effort being applied by the international community to bring to an end of the terror this virus have caused the people of the region which has taken the lives of over 9,000 from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

 For others, they welcomed the move by the Liberian Government to reopen borders, and lift the curfew imposed during the outbreak of the virus, stressing, that this move by the Liberian Government will help to restart the goods and services between these bordering countries.

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