President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has urged Liberians not to panic on the presence of the Ebola Virus in the Country. In a statement release from Rome, Italy, the President said she had proper consultations with the Minister of Health and his team before her travel to Europe.
She further explained that she is being briefed daily by Health Minister Walter Gwenegalee and his team and the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr. Edward McClain through the United States Embassy whom was contacted to send representative from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Ebola Virus has claimed the lives of seven persons since its presence was reported. Below is the full statement from the President:
“Fellow citizens: My trip to Europe was planned well before the Ebola situation evolved. Before I left, I had proper consultations with the Minister of Health and his team. The situation was assessed. We felt that it was well under control; that the health team would continue to brief the nation and be very straight forward on what the situation was.
“Since I left the country, I have been briefed everyday by the Minister of Health and his team. I have received information through the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr. Edward McClain and through the United States Embassy whom we have contacted to send representatives from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. I received a message from Ambassador [Deborah] Malac that the team should be in Monrovia shortly.
“We believe that while it is a concern, there is no need for panic. The situation has been managed very well by the Ministry of Health working with some of our international partners and we do not believe that one needs to do anything more than take precaution, follow the instructions and advice of the Ministry of Health team.
“This is not a thing for politicians. This is why, although the Senate had taken some actions relating to the border, we’re glad that the House of Representatives decided that that action was not necessary.
“As far as we’re concerned the situation is being contained and well controlled. We ask the media, we ask politicians and we ask everybody not to create panic in the country. By talking things when you don’t have the details, you simply make people afraid and that’s not good.
“We call on everybody to remain calm, listen to the daily briefings of the Ministry of Health to follow whatever their advice is. Be assured that I’m on top of it; I’m getting briefings; I’m in control of it; and I feel that the situation is being well managed. Thank you.”
The statement by the President comes few days after Mr. Benoni Urey, former Commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs, who is eyeing the presidency for 2017, accused the President for abandoning the Liberian people in the wake of the Ebola virus, by travelling abroad..