Liberia's four opposition Collaborating Political Parties or CPP says it is deeply concerned and saddened by the confirmation of three cases of the Corona virus in the country.
As a country that prides itself in hospitality, free trade and respect for international protocols, the current global trend of the virus, and its mode of transmission made it almost inevitable that it would have eventually reached our borders. However, we did not envisage that COVID-19 would make its way into our population in a manner that was clearly preventable, the CPP notes.
According to a press release issued in Monrovia Monday, recent confirmation by President Weah that the virus made its way into the population through a senior official of Government who made it a "choice" not to be quarantined in keeping with prevailing health protocols at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) is disturbing, to say the least.
The CPP is dismayed by the fact that the rule to have all travelers coming into Liberia from COVID-19 affected nations quarantined would be subjected to arbitrary and individualized compliance. Over and over again, individuals connected to the president or high ranking government officials and government officials themselves have deliberately refused to abide by the existing emergency health protocols intended to safeguard the country.
'The case of Dr. Nathaniel Blama, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, and that of Fatu Sheriff Schmidt are just few examples of how selectively the health protocol is being implemented. Sadly for our country, the first case of COVID-19 is as a result of one of the selective implementation of the health protocol. This is worrisome for us and the entire country because these people interacted with many others and research has shown that COVID-19 can also be transmitted by people who are not showing any symptoms at all. The CPP calls on the National Public Health Institute of Liberia and the Ministry of Health to scrupulously implement the emergency health protocols without prejudice."
Meanwhile, the CPP commends the government for its efforts thus far in combating the deadly virus, including its decision to have a partial and temporary shutdown of certain sectors of the country.
"However, we call on the government to with immediate effect employ the following measures in addition to the ones already being implemented: strengthen safety measures all Border Points of entry to ensure that they are effective; provide special emergency support to the press, health institutions, civil society organizations and local government institutions to begin a nationwide awareness and safety campaign; properly enforce the regulations issued by the Ministry of Health and ensure that traditional leaders, religious leaders and local government structures are deeply involved with the awareness processes."
It further calls on the Weah administration to demonstrate additional goodwill by announcing full budgetary allocation and funding to address the current situation holistically. "In the same vein, we call on everyone within our country and those entering to adhere to all emergency health and safety measures that are being provided by the government and the International Community." Press Statement