The Liberian leader, Dr. George Manneh Weah has by proclamation extended the State of Emergency (SOE) by additional 30 days, in consultation with the National Legislature. The President said the decision will afford the government the opportunity to re-examine its COVID-19 response strategy.
The proclamation, which was issued on June 22, 2020, quotes the Liberian Leader as saying that despite the measures that have been put in place to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus disease in the country, including the compulsory wearing of facemasks, handwashing and social distancing, cases and deaths from the disease continue to rise.
The Liberian Government declared a State of Emergency in April in response to the global Coronavirus pandemic. At the time, movements were restricted and the joint security forces were called upon to help with the enforcement of the set of protocols that were recommended by the health authorities.
Those measures expired on June 21, 2020 in keeping with the SOE’s timeframe. Today’s extension not only reactivates the Liberian Government’s tough response strategy, but also offers the opportunity to examine the measures again.
President Weah has said that the extension takes immediate effect, pending deliberations at the National Legislature in keeping with the Liberian Constitution.
See below full text of the proclamation
A PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT
WHEREAS, in response to the global effect of theCovid-19pandemic and its impact on the people and residents of Liberia, the President, H. E. George Manneh Weah, declared a State of Emergency on April 8, 2020, and was approved by the Legislature in a Joint Resolution of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate on April 17, 2020, and was published into handbills on April 21, 2020; and,
WHEREAS, prior to the expiration of the aforesaid Joint Resolution #002/2020 the President of the Republic of Liberia requested the Legislature for an extension thereof, for reasons that notwithstanding all the measures imposed by the State of Emergency, especially the restrictions on the movements of people and the health protocols (stay-at-home order, social distancing and wearing of masks), the incidence of persons infected by Covid-19 pandemic and the incidence of death caused by Covid-19 pandemic have increased exponentially; and,
WHEREAS, on June 20, 2020, the Incident Management System (IMS) reported: total confirmed cases 626, total recovery 254 and total deaths 34 and,
WHEREAS, in the President’s request to the Legislature for the extension of the State of Emergency, he informed the Legislature that the extension will provide the opportunity for the Government to re-examine its response strategy to Covid-19 fight and thereby better secure and protect the people and residents of the Republic of Liberia against this dreadful scourge; and,
WHEREAS, clearly, notwithstanding all the efforts of the Government to control the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on our people, especially the SOE declaration and its associated protocols to include restrictions on movement of people, social distancing and wearing of masks, the number of people infected by Covid-19 pandemic has exponentially increased since the SOE Declaration. This obviously necessitates the extension of the SOE for another period of thirty (30) days, during which the Government will re-examine its response strategy to Covid-19 pandemic and introduce a program of action to better secure and protect the Liberian people against this dreadful scourge; and,
WHEREAS, pending the Legislature deliberation on the President’s request to decide whether the extension of a state of emergency is justified or whether the measures taken thereunder are appropriate;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DR. GEORGE MANNEH WEAH, President of the Republic of Liberia, by virtue of the Authority in me vested, do hereby declare and proclaim an extension of the State of Emergency for a period of thirty (30) days effective 22 June (the date of its expiration) and ending on the twenty-one (21) day of July, 2020.
GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND SEAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA, IN THE CITY OF MONROVIA, COUNTY OF MONTSERRADO, THIS 22nd DAY OF JUNE, IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2020, AND OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC, THE 173RD.
GEORGE MANNEH WEAH
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA
BY ORDER OF THE PRESIDENT
GBEHZOHNGAR M. FINDLEY
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS