Liberia: Gasoline Shortage Disrupts Social Distancing Rule in Monrovia

Monrovia — The rush for petroleum products in Liberia amid the Covid-19 outbreak has raised serious concern about adherence to the "social distancing" health protocol sanctioned by the government.

Social distancing is regarded as one of several measures intended to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, which has already overwhelmed the world.

Presently, Liberia has three confirmed cases of Covid-19 and on Thursday, the Ministry of Heath announced that there are three more suspected cases in the country.

On Sunday, March 22, the Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, at an emergency press briefing, said social distancing was one of the measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

Schools, place of worship, bars, salons and gathering of people including street selling have all been banned.

But filling stations around Monrovia have been overcrowded in recent days with customers seen in long queues waiting to purchase gasoline, which appear to be scarce in recent weeks amid conflicting news about the quantity of petroleum products in the country.

FrontPageAfrica on Thursday 26 March 26, observed that many filling stations in Monrovia were crowded with customers.

There were also officers of the Liberia National Police at most of the filling stations; however, customers were still ignoring the social distancing rule.

A police officer, who refused to disclose his name, told FPA that his presence at the petroleum station was to ensure that the area was peaceful while customers purchase petroleum products.

"It is true that the issue of social distancing is not being practiced to the fullest but that is not what I was sent here," the officer said.

David Jallah is a plum attendance at the Super Petroleum (SP) filling station on UN Drive. He was seen ordering customers to keep a distance from each other but his warning was not heeded.

He later told FPA: "It is not easy to talk to people who are in dire need for something and they listen. So, this is the case. We have to serve them hurry to get the place relief."

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