Angry Residents Dig Out Buried Ebola Victim…Fear Grips Voker Mission Following The Death Of 2 Suspected Ebola Victims

By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy & Edwin G. Wandah

More than hundreds of angry youths at the Schieflin Avenue in Margibi County have protested against persons being secretly buried in the area.

According to some of the young people, during the late hours of Saturday, a corpse was taken outside of the Schieflin Town and buried in the area, something some members of them detested and dug the body out of the area.

Meanwhile, when the Inquirer visited the area Monday morning, the Commissioner along with some members of the officials frowned at the behavior of the youths, terming it as wrong and disappointing.

According to Commissioner Gibson, last Saturday, his Clerk received a call from Mr. G. Richmond Karnean I, who is the Shieflin Avenue Chairman concerning burying a person who he said had died in Duport and the corpse has been taken to the area for burial.

Commissioner Gibson stated further that there was no document proving the body to be free from any disease or Ebola and requested that a stop order be placed on the burial of the person until every necessary requirement is met.

“We are currently living in fear of the action carried out by the youths of the town; these guys are at large; what is very fearful is that we do not know the root cause of the death of the lady,” Commissioner Gibson stated.

Meanwhile, according to Chairman Karnean I, on Saturday of last week, a ranking officer of the Armed Forces of Liberia, only referred to as one Hinneh visited him at his residence requesting to bury his mother.

Chairman Karnean said that the AFL personnel was accompanied by a female by the name of Margaret and another guy called Samuel Smith who pleaded to acquire a plot of land to bury the dead person.

According to them, the person who died was the mother of the AFL personnel and that she died three days ago at a local clinic in Duport Road. Mr. Karnean stated that on Sunday at approximately 8:45p.m. a pick-up bearing LNP license plate 1105 accompanied by four Ministry of Health pick-ups drove in the area with the corpse of the dead person followed by Hinneh, Margaret and Samuel Smith intending to bury the lady.

Karnean said, he immediately went on the scene after he was called by angry youths who gathered protesting the woman’s being buried in the area. He said, he hurriedly calmed the youths, and engaged one Richard Smith who is accused of giving them the land for burial.

According to him, the accused man Smith said that the people produced document, but could not show them the document for perusal, and went to his residence.

Some aggrieved youths went on the rampage and dug out the buried person demanding response and intervention of the Ministry of Health and the Ebola Response Unit.

Meanwhile, a whole family is about to be wiped out right in the outskirts of Monrovia if nothing is done urgently to give that community relief from what is suspected as Ebola outbreak.

Visiting the Voker Mission community in Paynesville yesterday, it was reported by community members within the vicinity that a lady believed to be a Guinean national fled her Police Academy residence due to the death of her husband who was suspected to have died of the Ebola virus.

Without forcing her to return to her community or informing the health team as instructed by the Ebola awareness team, the family of 19 members who are also said to be Guineans hosted her thereby making them20 occupants in the house, until the head of that family (name withheld) began experiencing symptoms similar to that of Ebola.

According to a resident, SandoManjoe, they did not know the story of the lady until Sunday afternoon when they called the health team to check the man and wife who had been observed and suspected of having symptoms of illnesses and were very weak.

Manjoe said the health team went into the yard of the family and took blood samples and specimens for testing since Sunday and hours after their departure, the wife died and before the dawn of day yesterday, the husband too passed away.

He said currently, five persons are down with fever which is posing serious fear in the community because the home has not been quarantined and some members of that family are still looking very healthy and might want to escape or go in search of food which might spread the virus if at all it is probable that the virus has entered that home.

Manjoe said the health team told them upon its arrival that the sick people could not be taken away because there was no more space in any of the Ebola Treatment Centers yet they did not say what will become of the entire family.

Other community members fear that if police come to ensure that the family is safe and kept from affecting others, that whole community will be quarantined which will affect them therefore called on the health team to remove the family from the community immediately.

However, most of the community residents said what is best is that the entire community where the family is being suspected of contracting the Ebola virus be quarantined because they are not sure about themselves because they too have interacted with that family.