President George Manneh Weah has called for more collaborative efforts on the part of member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as they all grapple with the Coronavirus disease in their individual countries. The Liberian Leader said these consultations should be done "in real time" on matters concerning the disease and its impact on countries of the region.
He spoke during a virtual extraordinary session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government. The meeting, which took place on Thursday, April 23, focused on the impact of COVID-19 on ECOWAS member states.
While expressing his appreciation to the current Chairman of the body, Niger's President Issoufou MAHAMADOU, for convening the meeting in spite of the challenges, the Liberian Leader also thanked ECOWAS and the West African Health Organization for the support that has been provided to all member countries, including Liberia.
"I also want to thank our International Partners, especially multilateral Institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, WHO, the UN, other corporate organizations", he said, "for the support they have all provided collectively and individually towards the containment of the COVID-19 virus in Liberia".
President Weah said he is thankful for initial steps by these institutions towards relieving developing countries of debt burden during this difficult period for the global economy, but urged an approach with more synergy that will see developing countries, such as Liberia, lessen the negative impact of the pandemic.
During the discussions, he enumerated the steps the Government of Liberia is taking so far to contain the disease, citing the preparatory and response measures put in place early February.
The President said that in spite of the vigilance, Liberia recorded its index patient on March 16, 2020. "Today, as we speak", he continued, "we have experienced 103 confirmed cases, 75 active cases, 20 recoveries, and 8 deaths".
The Liberian Leader offered his condolences and empathy for the bereaved and afflicted. The President also informed his colleagues of measures his government has taken, in the face of constraints, to reduce the socio-economic impact of the virus on the most vulnerable in Liberia.