Considering The Humanitarian Factor

ON TUESDAY, PRESIDENT Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced several additional stringent measures her government will urgently embark on to curtail if not end the Ebola terror or trauma that is looming over the country.

IN HER LATE evening address to the nation on August 19, the President among other things, imposed a 9p.m. to 6am curfew, the closure of all video clubs at 6p.m. and all night clubs beginning yesterday, August 20 and that the communities of Dolo’s Town in Margibi County and West Point in Monrovia were being quarantined under full security watch with no movements in and out of those areas.

PRESIDENT SIRLEAF SAID her decision was against the backdrop that her government has been unable to curtail the spread of the virus due to the continuous denial, cultural burying practices and disregard to the advice of health workers as well as disrespect for the warnings of government and the large population concentration.

SHE SAID THE above reasons have caused the spread of the disease in Monrovia and its environs but stressed that successes have also been made by the international partners and national stakeholders in the stabilization of few response communities with structures and systems put in place as well as human and financial resources mobilized.

THE LIBERIAN LEADER did not attach any time frame for the end of her additional urgent measures imposed but said it is to save lives and make government’s efforts to combat the disease more timely and therefore urged all citizens to do their part so that we as a country can return to normality once again.

WE COMMEND THE measures taken so far by the President in the fight of the Ebola virus but our concern is with the humanitarian aspect. We urge the government to match its urgent measures with urgent humanitarian supplies into the communities.

THIS HUMANITARIAN PROVISION should take into consideration the broader rationale of a government’s imposition of the curfew and quarantine system because we all may understand ‘curfew’ to mean seclusion and to add the quarantine aspect with a mandate for a ‘full security watch’ with no movements in and out, signals government’s urgent preparedness to meet the basic needs of those affected.

ALREADY, DAY ONE of the imposition has shown signs of tension in Monrovia and its environs with shops and even some banks closed in central Monrovia. There appears a shut down in the city center as news have been spread differently to other quarters of the country as to what is obtaining thereby causing more fear than the Ebola has done over the past six months.

WE BELIEVE THAT government’s measures are in the right direction but plead with you, Madam President, as head of the National Task Force in the Fight against Ebola, to make your humanitarian strategy a priority so that your ‘timely’ decision cannot be misconstrued and slide the nation back in the days of internal chaos.

WE ALSO CALL on the citizens to exercise restraint as the government works on every modality to ensure its measures so that Ebola can be eradicated from the country. We believe these measures are just for our own good and health safety.

AGAIN, WE ITERATE our call to you, Madam President to please give your decision a humanitarian faces so that citizens can not continue to live in perpetual fear.