The Liberia Airport Authority or (LAA) have strongly condemned the exportation of the Ebola Virus Disease in America by an infected Liberian, Eric Thomas Duncan.
Speaking Thursday, October 2, 2014 at the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism on Capitol Hill, the Board Chair of the Roberts International Airport, and Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Binyan Kessely, said Mr. Duncan’s false declaration of his health status is totally unacceptable and violates the Public Health Law of Liberia.
According to Commissioner Kessely, Chapter 13&14 of the public health law states that anyone who puts the country at risk should face prosecution and if guilty, fines US$200.00.
According to an American-based Liberian magazine TMZ, Mr. Duncan traveled to the US on an immigrant visa through his wife, who is an American. The victim reportedly left Liberia on September 19, 2014 and arrive in the States the following day, but started to show symptoms of the Ebola virus four days later.
Health officials confirmed the first case of the virus in the United States on Tuesday. “We have a seven-person team in Dallas today, helping to review that with the family and make sure we identify everyone that could have had contact with him”, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC in an interview.
The Liberian Maritime boss called on Liberians to desist from selfish behavior, and become their brothers and sisters’ keepers to buttress government’s effort in halting the rapid spread of the virus rather than engaging in bad habits such as hiding sick people are hiding their health status when travelling abroad.
He said several new measures has have introduced at the Roberts International Airport that, make sure both passengers and workers are free from the deadly Ebola virus since the departure, and subsequent death of a Liberian official, Patrick Sawyer, who traveled to the Federal Republic of Nigeria in July to attend an ECOWAS conference without going through proper checking at the airport, which caused serious embarrassment for the country.
He said the measures include washing hands, thermometer checks, and thorough screening to stop people from exporting or importing the deadly virus. According to him, the normal temperature of a healthy person is about 37.5 degree anyone registering or exceeding this figure would have to be properly interrogated before leaving or coming to Liberia.
Commissioner Kessely said in order to avoid the rapid spread of the virus, the airport authorities are considering to quarantine passengers who will purchase plane tickets for 21 days to monitor their health status before allowing them to leave the country, saying, “We don’t want anyone hiding their status at the airport.”