The Inquirer (Monrovia)

26 August 2014

Liberia: For Outbreak of Ebola in MRU Region - Govt Frowns On Isolation

The Government of Liberia (GOL) has frowned on the current isolation of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in these three countries.

The GOL said this isolation and abandonment by other African countries not affected by the Ebola virus is unacceptable and un-African.

Liberia's Information Minister Lewis G. Brown said to isolate the three countries is not the right thing to do because these countries did not request for the Ebola virus in their respective countries.

Minister Brown stressed that Government of Liberia is concerned about the level of isolation and abandonment by some African countries affected by the Ebola virus contrary to expert opinion that "isolation is not the right thing to do."

Addressing the regular Ebola news briefing at the Information Ministry yesterday, Minister Brown said it is not a right thing when sisterly African countries can say airlines or ships coming into Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea should avoid their various sea and airports.

The Liberia Information Minister noted that the behavior on the part of these African countries violates the spirit of Africa's unity and solidarity which every country on the continent subscribed to, saying, "This is un-African and violates the spirit of African solidarity."

Minister Brown pointed out that this is the time that Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone need the assistance of these African countries, asking, " How can you say ships coming into Liberia should not dock into your port and crew of airlines coming into Liberia should not sleep in your respective countries?"

Mr. Lewis Brown said this is time for African countries to put together and fight a common cause such as the fight against the deadly Ebola virus and not be apart because the virus is not affecting another but is killing Africans in an affected country.

"We have put in place stringent measures to fight this scourge and we are working to stop the spread of the virus but this step of isolation and abandonment is counter-productive to our peace, security and stability," he intimated.

The Information Boss wondered how essential materials needed to fight the Ebola virus come into these countries when all the airlines are closing down and certain countries do not warn against ships coming into affected countries not to use their various ports.

However, Minister Brown told Liberians that the country will pass through this problem and triumph at the end saying, "When they said no black can govern themselves, we did here in Liberia."

The World Health Organization (WHO) and other international humanitarian organizations have warned against sanctioning Ebola affected countries but countries like Ivory Coast, Kenya and others have already sanctioned travel of individuals from Ebola affected countries to their countries.

In a related development Minister Brown yesterday disclosed that four of those involved in the recent looting of the Ebola Holding Center in West Point have begun showing symptoms of the Ebola disease.

He said they have been further quarantined to stop the spread of the disease in the densely populated Township of West Point ; reports Timothy T.Seaklon

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