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Maryland County enforces compulsory masks wearing

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Amidst the increase of COVID-19 cases in Maryland County, southeast Liberia, Joint Security forces there have launched compulsory wearing of nose masks in public to contain spread of the virus.

The Joint Security and local authorities launched the campaign on Monday, July 13, after confirmed COVID-19 cases in the coastal county hit 14 recently. The Commander of Maryland County COVID-19 Task Force, Lincoln Wesseh, said the daily nose masks wearing restriction followed rapid increase in new infections in Maryland, Grand Kru and River Gee counties, respectively.

Commander Wesseh noted that in the absence of restricting citizens’ movement in the southeast, the best remedy is to making sure citizens traveling from one county to another abided by preventive measures prescribed by the Ministry of Health. He said those measures can be effectively enforced if theTaskForce worked closely with the Liberia National Police.

Commander Wesseh also disclosed that several check points have been erected in county to regulate movement of citizens, particularly motorcyclists and drivers who don’t usually wear nose masks while in the traffic.

He said the COVID-19 Taskforce has been collaborating with Joint Security, and they are fully prepared to enforce all health protocols, including regular hands washing, social distancing and compulsory nose masks wearing.

“We can’t sit here as COVID-19 Task Force, seeing the cases increasing without buttressing effort of the Liberia National Police. I think this is the time for us to act because the numbers of cases are increasing on a daily basis”, he said.

Wesseh stressed that the daily nose masks wearing is not restricted to bike riders and drivers, but will be extended to market places, entertainment centers, communities, worship centers and video clubs, among others.

Meanwhile, the Liberia National Police Commander in Pleebo, Maryland County, Lavisious Toe, has commended the COVID-19 Task Force for collaborating with the police in enforcing the health protocols.

Toe said though the restriction comes as a direct mandate from the local authorities, but there are some hard-headed individuals in the county, who still doubt existence of the virus and are refusing wear nose masks. The Police Commander disclosed that on day one of the enforcement on Monday, July 13, the Police faced assault from motorcyclists and drivers.

He called on residents, including commercial drivers, motorcyclists and passengers to always wear nose masks in the public. District Statutory Superintendent, Alysious Williams, lauded the Task Force and the Police for enforcing the compulsory nose masks wearing.

He said as local leaders, one of their functions is to make sure instructions and polices from national government are implemented or enforced. He assured that the Police have the support of local authorities to regulate and arrest violators doing the exercise, emphasizing that the measures are for the safety of everyone, so all citizens should abide.

By Patrick Mensah, Maryland County

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