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Citizens panic in Margibi County

Citizens of Margibi County are in panic as a result of threats posed by the deadly Ebola virus and reports of unidentified individuals contaminating wells in communities with formaldehyde.

County Inspector, Tarr N. Sackie

argibi has over six community radio stations and the latest topic of their broadcast is about the Ebola Virus Disease and the poisoning of wells and hand pumps, particularly in Monrovia with formaldehyde.

The New Dawn Margibi correspondent said among the topics being discussed by community residents and at street corners include Ebola, well poisoning, prices and the state of emergency declared last week Wednesday by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Recently, dozens of residents, including nurses died of the virus, some confirmed of the disease and others reported to have shown symptoms of the deadly disease.

Several nurses from the C. H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata has been transferred to the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia over the weekend for close monitoring. Three of the nurses have reportedly tested positive while others are suspected after one of them had died at the Rennie Hospital.

Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Margibi County Superintendent John Zubah Buway, said all health centers in the county are shut down for fear of Ebola. Medical doctors have fled the county in fear of the virus while nurses continue to be highly hit, and people who experienced symptoms now prefer to go to drug stores with self-prescriptions to buy drugs or get them from street hawkers or quacks.

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A New Dawn’s investigation established that citizens with entrenched cultural practices are still bathing dead bodies, particularly dead relatives in preparation for burial despite Health Ministry’s warnings to the public to avoid dead bodies. In New Kakata Community, someone, who reportedly died from the virus and family members washed the dead body, but they escaped after health workers went to the scene.

Investigation shows that some of the escapes are seriously sick and showing symptoms of the virus. In Kakata, almost all members of a family died in one community with news that they had symptoms of the virus but other relatives denied.

This paper also established that two persons passed away in Weala over the weekend and local authorities have ordered family members to stop burying dead relatives without contacting health workers. Kakata, Weala and Harbel area are now considered as the most infected places with Ebola in Margibi County.

The decision, according to Margibi County Inspector came as a result of reports gathered from families and communities concerning their death. County Inspector Tarr N. Sackie mandated Cinta Township Commissioner William B. S. Julye to remove dead bodies from communities for burial.

Commissioner Julye had reported that a family member of one of the deceased threatened to take the body to his office if local authorities failed to intervene. In Klunah Town, Weala where one of the two died, residents escaped the area.

Meanwhile, county inspector Sackie has called on Margibians to stop going into hiding when they observe symptoms of the virus in their bodies. He urged residents in the county to be calm and pray to God to get the virus from the county, adding that they should not allow fear to overtake them.

Sackie noted that the county health system is paralyzed because health workers are afraid and the only government referral hospital, C. H. Rennie Hospital has also closed down.

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