Liberia: Pay Salary Before Lockdown

(file photo).

-Public workers demand

As Liberians brace themselves for an imminent lockdown to prevent spread of the coronavirus, public workers here call on government to pay salaries for at least two months to enable them cope, while staying at home.

Civil servants across the country, including thousands of non-essential staff sent on compulsory leave have not taken pay for March.But the President of the Liberia Labour Congress Mulbah Johnson says suspension of businesses is a reason to assist employees.

Speaking to OK FM Monday, he said government should pay at least two months' salaries to empower the workforce amid the current health crisis.

Mr. Johnson also stressed the need to provide protection and increase incentives for health workers in the country because they are on the frontline, leading the fight against the virus.

There is an imminent lockdown here as the country's COVID-19 confirmed cases jumped from 6 to 14 in barely a week, including three deaths.

"Out of the three new cases, two of them were people who were presenting the symptoms and by the time we were called, they had already died. It's a male and a female; we tested them and they tested positive", said the Minister of Health, Doctor Wilhemina Jallah

According to Doctor Jallah, all three deaths occurred outside of government treatment facility, adding, "They died either at home or in another hospital."

Government had already shutdown schools, churches, mosques, and entertainment centers, including public gatherings of any sort, while considering other options such as imposition of curfew or a lockdown of the country.

Such stringent measures, though necessary for the current crisis, could pose serious economic and social problems in a country with a very weak economy, largely due to mismanagement.

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