President George Manneh Weah has ordered the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to return to its barracks as he ends several months of a State of Emergency declared to help combat coronavirus. The military has been helping the Joint Security Force here in enforcing measures imposed by authorities to control the spread of the virus.
However, cases of the virus are now far higher in the country than they were initially when Mr. Weah first declared the State State of Emergency in early April which had the country placed under a lockdown.
As at Tuesday, 21 July the Liberia had reported 452 total active confirmed coronavirus cases out of 1,114 confirmed cases reported since the crisis hit the country.
Health authorities say a total of 70 victims have been killed by the virus while 592 others have recovered from treatment. President Weah on Tuesday ordered the men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia to return to barracks effective 12 midnight on 21 July.
According to him, the legal basis for the continuous presence of the army in some parts of the country to assist with the fight against the Coronavirus elapsed with the end of the State of Emergency.
He however pointed out that the army has special logistical and human resource capabilities that could be called upon when needed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Weah has mandated the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah and other relevant authorities to scrupulously utilize the public health laws going forward as the guiding tool for curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He urges the health authorities to strictly implement these laws in order to reinforce the practice of the wearing of face-masks, social distancing and washing of hands along with other health protocols.
Mr. Weah admonished the public not to construe the cessation of the State of Emergency as license to engage in behaviors that may lead to further spread of the virus, as delinquent acts can be punished under the public health laws.