LIBERIA: To Help Fight Coronavirus MCC Constitutes Taskforce

Member of the Task Force

The Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) Tuesday March 17, 2020 constituted a taskforce to help fight the coronavirus in the country.

Prior to the confirmation of the virus in the country, the MCC met with township commissioners and community leaders in the bailiwick of Monrovia and Montserrado County in general in galvanizing forces ahead of any discovery.

The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nathaniel Blama, was confirmed positive of the coronavirus on Monday March 16, 2020.

Mr. Blama was confirmed as the first patient of the coronavirus on March 16, 2020 after it was alleged that he refused to be quarantined and to followed health protocols setup by health authorities at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) upon his return from Switzerland.

The taskforce will ensure more awareness in every community across Montserrado, encouraging citizens to follow all measures put in place by health authorities and work collaboratively for the eradication of the virus from the country.

The 15-man taskforce is headed by veteran Liberian politician, D. Karn Carlos.

Following the confirmation, the Lord Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson Tamba Koijee said Monrovia as a densely populated city of over 1.7million; there is a need to be fast with the setting up of the taskforce.

Mayor Koijee assured Monrovians that they will fight the virus together and they will succeed. According to him, the success will require the full cooperation of everyone.

“Today is a sad day for us. We were last deriving measures to take. However, we are not deterred because we Liberians are unique and resilient people,” he said.

He further said “through your commitment and dedication, we are going to triumph. Let’s continue to pray for this country and every Liberian.”

The young Mayor is also calling on everyone to come on the ‘table’ with the right ideas that will help in the fight against the virus.

“We pray that no one lose their life to this virus. We are going back to the communities to sensitize the people because Monrovia is the first place of the virus. We have decided to take charge in protecting our people,” he added.

Mayor Koijee called on Liberians to stop politicizing the emergence of the virus, calling on everyone to join the fray to prevent the further spread.

Mayor Koijee further clarified that he has not had contact with anyone who ever tested positive of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Monrovia City Mayor narrated that he wasn’t on the flight with EPA Director Nathaniel Blama and hasn’t been to Switzerland as speculated.

According to Mayor Koijee, he departed Monrovia on February 16, 2020 (Monrovia Day), and arrived in Paris, France on February 17, 2020. He also fled to the Spanish capital of Madrid on the 22 of February before his return to Monrovia on the 23rd of the same month.

“It has been three weeks since I returned and it has to be made clear that this surpasses the incubation period of fourteen days” he explained.

He  further clarifies that Mr. Nat Blama who has been tested positive arrived in the country on Friday March 13, 2020 and has had absolutely no contact with the Mayor who left Monrovia same day Friday for Lofa County .

Mayor Koijee on behalf of the City Government sympathizes with the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency and wishes him a speedy recovery in such a difficult time.

He also joined the President of Liberia to call on Liberians not to panic as health authorities are doing everything possible to prevent the spread of the virus.

Measures Taken By MCC:

Meanwhile, the Monrovia City Government has taken several measures aimed at keeping the people of Monrovia safe from the virus.

The MCC has called on all business centers across the city to ensure buckets with faucets containing substances to fight the virus at the entrances of their businesses.

Others include all MCC workers must have personal hand sensitizers with them during working hours; no selling on Sunday across the city, Increase awareness on compliance with health protocols and other rigorous set of measures on effect response to the virus amongst others.

For her part, the Executive Director of the Crusaders for Peace, Ambassador Julie Endee assured everyone they will fight the virus to its full elimination from the country.

“We need to be factual and honest in moving forward. We will succeed together with the community people and we must engage in community engagements,” she said.

Also speaking, the chairman of the taskforce, Mr. D. Karn Carlos encouraged Liberians to follow all measures put in place by authorities of the Ministry of Health.

“We want the media to help us and we must reach out to all communities,” he said.

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About Cholo Brooks 12559 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.