News / Africa

Liberia Announces Additional Ebola Containment Measures

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addresses the nation about the Ebola virus outbreak.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addresses the nation about the Ebola virus outbreak.
James Butty

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced a National Action Plan in the country’s fight against the Ebola epidemic.

This comes as two U.S. Peace Corps volunteers have been isolated in Liberia after suspected exposure to the virus.  

In a nationwide speech Wednesday, Sirleaf said she will not attend next week’s U.S.-Africa Summit. Instead, the Liberian delegation will be led by Vice President Joseph Boakai.

She also ordered the closure of schools across the country and placed non-essential government workers on a mandatory 30-day leave.  

Sirleaf also announced the closure of all markets along Liberia’s borders with Sierra Leone and Guinea.  

Goal: To contain epidemic

Information Minister Lewis Brown said Liberia’s goal is to contain the epidemic.

“Without exception, we have determined our strategy in fighting this deadly virus which is becoming widespread to be one of containment," Brown said. "Our goal is to care for the afflicted, protect health care workers, and ensure that we achieve a no new case situation in our country."

Brown said Sirleaf also announced that several communities were being considered for quarantine based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

“We are looking at areas where the incident is high; the risk of spreading is also high. And so, we want to quarantine those areas and provide the needed food and medical [aid] in those communities to reduce the risk of movement of people,” Brown said.

In her announcement, Sirleaf ordered “video clubs and entertainment centers” to improve sanitation, including facilities for the washing of hands.

She declared Friday a non-working day to be used for the “disinfection and chlorination” of all public facilities.

“When the president talked about market places, she’s talking about border areas, including Foya, Bo Waterside, and others that hold traditional market days where people come from either side to congregate in one place to sell their wares. These have been known to also further [the] risk of spread,” Brown said.

Government response criticized

Some local media reports have criticized the government for being unprepared in dealing with the Ebola outbreak, particularly the rising death rate.

Brown said no government could have been prepared to deal with what he called the unprecedented nature of the outbreak.

“First of all, experts have confirmed that this outbreak and the rapidity of the spread, including populated centers like Monrovia and parts of Lofa is unprecedented. And, therefore, no government could have been prepared to deal with sheer size of the problem,” Brown said.

He said Liberia has made an appeal for international assistance to deal with the outbreak.

“We need PPE (personal protection equipment), we need gloves, we need medical supplies, we need experts, we need clinicians, we need sanitation experts [and] we need health care workers,” he said.

Brown said that although Sirleaf will not attend next week’s summit, the president sees the meeting as an opportunity for Africa to initiate further investment.

“We consider that summit extremely important not just for Liberia but for the continent and our continued excellent relationship between the United States and ourselves. And so, the vice president will lead a small delegation of cabinet ministers,” Brown said.

Butty interview with Brown
Butty interview with Browni
|| 0:00:00


You May Like

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

Indian PM Calls for Unity Amid Tense Climate Over Beef Attacks

Recent series of beef-related incidents seen as signs of rising intolerance toward Muslims and other religious minorities More

Why These Are New York City's Most Treasured Spaces

Under threat of jail time and fines, some New York property owners are not allowed to renovate their spaces without prior approval More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs