The NEWS (Monrovia)

2 April 2014

Liberia: State of Emergency Suggested

The deadly Ebola virus is sparking fear and panic in Guinea. The West African nation faces an epidemic as it battles to contain confirmed cases now ... ( Resource: Ebola Outbreak Sparking Panic in Guinea

The National Legislature is said to be contemplating on declaring a state of emergency to fight the deadly Ebola virus which is now being confirmed in Liberia.

At least one person has reportedly died from the deadly virus. Already, US$1.2 million is being projected by Government of Liberia and its international partners to combat the spread of Ebola virus across Liberia.

On Tuesday, the Senate mandated its committee on Health and Social Welfare to liaise with the House of Representatives' Health Committee to consult the Executive Branch whether there can be an emergency declared to fight the virus.

The motion was proffered by Maryland County Senator John Ballout who said due to serious health threat the virus poses to the country, it was necessary for strong political will.

Briefing Legislative reporters at the Capitol Tuesday, the Senate Health Committee Chairman Peter Coleman said he does not support state of emergency that would lead to the closure of various borders with Liberia.

Senator Coleman believes the prevailing situation right now regarding the virus presence in Liberia does not warrant a state of emergency.

Guinea has 135 cases reported with 79 death confirmed. The former Health Minister said Liberia was putting the needed preventive measures into place to ensure that the virus does not spread to other parts of the country.

"If you were in the Chambers few minutes ago I was one of those who opposed to declaring state of emergency because one reason is that we live in a region where our collective health, commence and security are linked in the Mano River region and in the ECOWAS region. Before you get up to close the border, you know that pepper and tomatoes come from Guinea, that means some basic commodities will be missing from our market," Senator Coleman indicated.

The Grand Kru Senator wants the country to strategize how the virus can be prevented from spreading because it is already present in the country, noting that disease prevention does not requires border closure.

Senator Coleman said closure of the border would create more problems for the country than good because people suspected of having the virus will take advantage of illegal entries to enter the country.

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InFocus

Liberian MPs Call for Emergency to Fight Ebola

Following a heated debate, the Liberian Senate has resolved to confer with the House of Representatives and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on whether or not a state of emergency ... Read more »