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Ellen warns against early excitement – Chinese military team arrives

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has warned against early jubilation over news of reduction in the infection across the country with news of less than 400 cases nationwide.

The Liberian leader is cautioned citizens and residents against a repeat of a scenario in March this year when people got “too happy too soon” over decline in Ebola infection, thereby giving room for the virus to resurface by June when preventive measures were largely downplayed.

Yes we feel good, but we want to be cautious. We don’t want people to get happy too soon; we got to continue this fight, and we got to continue it with everything that we got,” President Sirleaf said Tuesday in Monrovia when she received an advance Chinese military delegation of 15 personnel to build ETUs here.

Judging from previous scenario, she warned, “This time we want to be careful, we’ll not be satisfied until we are declared that the last Ebola victim has been cured and is freed of this disease.” President Sirleaf’s warning comes as government prepares to conduct a mid-term election for 15 senators in December.

She earlier told Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Yhang Yue that China was the first to send a large cargo plane with materials “before the other international community geared up.”

President Sirleaf however expressed the hope that those expected to come after the 15 member advanced team will do their work very quickly because Liberia is now trying to hurry up and beat the virus right away. She asked that China considers integrating its ETUs into the Community Care Centers and Liberia’s normal health care service, to purposely lead to a better health care delivery system to prevent reoccurrence of Ebola in the future.

“And so as your team works, we want you to look at how you can support us in that integration; we’re discussing it with all of our partners to do that and fortunately China has already been a partner to us in health care, because you have doctors at JFK, Tappita Hospital so you are already involved in that,” she said.

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Also speaking, the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Yhang Yue, emphasized that the building of the ETUs is not only for the prevention and treatment of Ebola, but that it can also be a training base for local health workers and to also treat normal disease, including malaria.

Announcing  that China will send around 116 doctors here, Ambassador Yue said building the ETUs is the immediate response China is giving, with further assurance that his Country is ready for post Ebola assistance to Liberia, including reconstructing the public health systems.

As the Ebola situation stands in Liberia, Ambassador Yue says “it’s difficult to say there is a very clear cut turning point of the situation,” thus stressing the importance of the ETUs.

On Monday, the Chinese Envoy said the first batch of a cargo plane was airlifted from China, bringing building materials and equipment for the ETUs, and additional cargo planes are expected today, Wednesday, 29 October. Combining the cost of all of the supplies being brought into the three worst – affected countries, Ambassador Yue estimated around $82m in cash and material assistance.

“After that with the help of the UNMIL, we have the Chinese engineering company they will send 100 soldiers to help us to build the ETUs,” he told President Sirleaf.

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