Gov’t Announces Measures For Ports Of Entry…To Encourage Int’l Flights, Others To Resume Normal Business

By Timothy T. Seaklon

As a means to stimulate the return of airlines and ships that are afraid of the Ebola Virus Disease(EVD) to begin travel to the country, the Ministry of Transport in collaboration with the various ports of entry have designed a number of safety measures.   According to Transport Minister, Angela Cassell-Bush, mandatory measures taken for airport employees at the Liberia Aviation Authority (LAA) include the wearing of rubber gloves, usage of alcohol based hand and sanitizer, usage of rubber gloves, aprons and surgical masks for cleaning staff, screening or testing for the Ebola virus as required by the Ministry of Health.

Minister Cassell Bush, addressing the daily Ebola news conference yesterday at the Ministry of Information said monitoring of body temperature at the airport is also cardinal to the measures taken.

Minister Cassell Bush said measures that are mandatory for travellers who are inbound and outbound include screening for the Ebola virus as required by the Ministry of Health and Social welfare, observation for the signs and symptoms of Ebola, screening for elevated temperature and respond to healthcare questionnaires as well as presenting of passport for verification.

The Transport Minister said at the National Port Authority (NPA) everyone entering the ports must wash their hands and wipe the bottom of their shoes with chlorine and soap at the various checkpoints throughout the ports.

She also noted that everyone including employees, contractors or casual workers entering the port premises must be subjected to body temperature monitoring or digital temperature testing.

She further noted that all staff of the NPA buses must wear long sleeves shirt or blouses while all NPA buses will be sprayed prior to the work day and re-sprayed before departure for any assignment.

The minister said all clearing staff must use rubber or latex gloves, aprons and long sleeves overhaul and surgical masks, chlorine based water solution for cleaning.

Minister Cassell-Bush said periodic inspection will be conducted by the ERT throughout the port to confirm that there are no potential Ebola cases.

The Transport Minister also noted that her ministry is creating partnership with the National Traditional Council, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Maritime and members of United Nations especially the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) considering footpaths used by motorcycles along Liberia’s porous borders to ensure that her ministry includes stakeholders that can help stop the spread of Ebola.