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More infections

- Liberia covid-19 hits 211

Liberia’s confirmed coronavirus cases have hit a total of 211, after 7 new confirmed cases were reported at 10:00PM Sunday night, 10 May, roughly two days after President George Manneh Weah proposed that Churches, Mosques and worship centers consider the commencement of their operations beginning Sunday, 17 May.

The persistent increase in coronavirus cases here continues to create uncertainty as to how soon the country could get back to normal and see the reopening of schools and allow works and businesses to run full time, as citizens’ complaints of hardship grow daily amid the health crisis.

Meanwhile the Government of Liberia has called on Liberians, led by religious leaders, to use the upcoming Unification Day celebration to pray for the Country to be healed from the virus.
In the updated data released Sunday night, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) indicates that Liberia has had 211 confirmed cases, out of which 106 confirmed cases are still active, having lost 20 victims to the virus with 85 total recovery so far.

Besides the 20 deaths earlier reported last week, the new data from Sunday’s update comes with no new death or new recovery reported in relations to the coronavirus crisis which has hit eight of Liberia’s 15 counties.

However President Weah last Friday, 8 May proposed that Churches, Mosques and worship centers consider operating 25 percent of the regular worship-hour occupancy for each service beginning Sunday, 17 May, with Muslims permitted to begin operating in their Mosques on 8 May.

The reopening of Churches, Mosques and worship centers follows calls from religious leaders amid complaints by others here that the Church and Mosque have been treated unfairly in the crisis, as they have not been allowed to congregate and pray against the disease.

At the start of the crisis, Churches were abruptly closed by security forces while worshipers were in service due to authorities’ apparent conflicting decision following a meeting with religious leaders ahead of the Sunday leading to the incident.Health authorities have advised that in the wake of the unresolved crisis, the need for the measures to remain in place still is pertinent.

Because of the government’s decision to provide food aid during the period, the Executive Mansion details that corridors will be opened to enable food products to move from one county to the next, while observing social distancing, face covering and other measures.

Last month President Weah announced a State of Emergency to be observed throughout the Country. During this period, the joint security command and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia were ordered to enforce the different protocols that were pronounced.

Among the measures were orders to quarantine the 15 counties here; ensure that everyone in those counties stay at home for two weeks – with exceptions granted to designated essential persons and businesses; and require all to be indoors by 3pm.Further, the measures included a directive to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to engage market leaders in order to make “satisfactory arrangements” for the operations of markets during the period.
By Winston W. Parley

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