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Liberian authorities set US$1,500 fine

– Against violation of Covid measures

Liberian authorities have announced different categories of fines against violation of Coronavirus measures, which include US$1,500 for non – compliant businesses and entities, and LD$1,000 against individuals who are not masked.

The regulation which comes with an increased fine from the previously announced US$200 against businesses and entities was made known by authorities representing the Ministry of Health, the Liberia National Police (LNP), and the Monrovia City Corporation during a press conference over the weekend.

Liberia National Police (LNP) Inspector General Col. Patrick T. Sudue said the new fine is far from the thought that government wants to generate money from its citizens, but it’s meant to scare people and to show the government’s seriousness in enforcing the health measure.

Col. Sudue explained that they are doing this not with the intent to suppress citizens or to extort money from them, but to ensure that citizens abide by every measure announced during the health crisis here.

According to Sudue, people took the previously announced fine of US$200 for granted and they were violating the measures by refusing to close down their businesses by 9 pm.

He added that some were even making fun that they could pay up to US$500 as a fine instead of US$200, thereby prompting authorities to increase the fine against businesses and individuals.

“While it’s true that things are hard, such hardship will not make us compromise the safety of our people,” Col. Sudue said.

Also speaking at the press conference, the Mayor of the City of Monrovia Jefferson T. Koijee said the new fines of US$1,500 against businesses and entities, and LD$1,000 against individuals are meant to deter citizens, especially business owners, to abide by all of the health measures instituted by the government.

“This amount is not intended to generate money for the government or to go after our people, but it’s meant to secure the safety of our citizens,” Mr. Koijee explained.

Koijee said as it stands, several entities have already been fined, noting that a violation thrice will warrant a complete shutdown as a deterrence for other businesses.

He pointed out that homes and other places are required to have sanitary buckets for hand washing at all times, expressing hope that this will help to reduce the number of cases currently pillaging the environment.

Meanwhile, Mr. Koijee noted that the Gorbachev Market in Paynesville and the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) will collaborate with their city governments to work between 7 PM to 4:00 AM daily to give the environment a full facelift for improved sanitation.

According to Koijee, Paynesville and Monrovia can be assured of continuous support, adding with the help of the newly instituted task force headed by Mr. Edwin Tisdell, Director General for City Beautification of Monrovia, they will begin the massive clearing of trees and trimming of grass along street corners.

“We hope that all these measures will happen in a great atmosphere. We call on the public to work with our team adequately for the good of all so as together, we can wipe COVID-19 out of Monrovia and our country,” Koijee continued.

He said going forward, every citizen should wear their masks at all times while in public or in the proximity of others. Also at the press conference were Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay, the Paynesville City Government, and other stakeholders.—By Lewis S. Teh, Edited by Winston W. Parley

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