LIBERIA: Gov’t Extends Stay-Home Order For Another Month

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has extended by another month beginning Monday, September 1, 2014 the stay-home order imposed on all non-essential government employees who have been off duty since August 1, 2014.

According to an Executive Mansion release, this measure was necessary to decongest government work places as efforts continue to contain the spread of the Ebola virus disease which is having devastating consequences on the country.

The Liberian leader has assured government employees affected by the stay-home order that they will continue to receive their salaries during the period of their absence from work.

On Wednesday, July 30, President Sirleaf, in a Special Statement to the Nation on additional measures in the fight against the Ebola virus disease, announced that all non-essential staff begin a 30-day compulsory leave, noting the strategy was to contain the spread, care for the afflicted with the goal of “No New Cases.”

In another development, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on Friday, August 29, held talks with officials of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD) at her Foreign Ministry office in Monrovia.

The APD requested the meeting to discuss how they could be of help in the national fight against the spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease.

The APD officials proposed a “Strategy for Rapid Tracing and Tracking of Individuals,” similar to that used during the civil war for the distribution of relief materials to various communities by the Special Emergency Life Food Program.

As a way forward, the APD recommended that the Chair of the National Task Force mandates the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH&SW) to consider the integration of community enumeration and structure numbering strategy into the Ebola virus transmission tracking and tracing mechanism to enhance and support ongoing efforts.

They also offered to provide technical details of the strategy to the MOH&SW and donor partners with whom they can together identify and mobilize national experience and expertise. “We also request that the MOH&SW, in collaboration with all relevant actors, ensures the integration and implementation of the strategy into on-going Ebola control efforts.

Responding, President Sirleaf commended the APD for the national thoughtfulness and stressed that all hands were required on deck in the effort to contain the further spread of the disease.

She also informed the APD officials about the current structural arrangement of the National Task Force, the different interventions undertaken and on-going to stop the spread of the disease.

“The Task Force chaired by me with partner organizations as well as all local and international stakeholders with membership is National Consultative Body, while the actual activities involved with fighting the disease is headed by the Incidence Management System led by the MOH&SW with Assistant Minister of Health for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah as Coordinator,” President Sirleaf said.

She pointed out that the Incidence Management System is supported by a Task Force Secretariat headed by Mr. Dorbor Jallah who handles the logistical component and resources involved.

She pointed out that as a way of decentralizing the structure, similar structures will be set up at the county level for consistency, collaboration and efficiency. She welcomed the proposal of the APD and promise to advance it to Task Force and Incidence Management System for consideration.

Meanwhile, the Liberian leader instructed the lifting on the quarantine of the Township of West Point on Saturday, August 30.

President Sirleaf’s action is based on the advice of authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as well as consultations with local and international partners involved with efforts aimed at containing the further spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease.

She also indicated that residents’ cooperation and support over the period heightened the decision to lift the embargo on the Township of West Point.

On Tuesday, August 19, the Government of Liberia announced that the communities of West Point in Monrovia and Dolo’s Town in Margibi County were quarantined effective Wednesday, August 20, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The orders indicated that there would be absolutely no movement in and out of the two communities.

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