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“Non-Essential Staff” to return – Ellen consults officials

The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaPresident Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has told reporters that she has requested government entities to revisit staffing arrangements and begin to recall “non-essential staff” given the gradual decline in the Ebola virus disease across the country.

“We have asked all the entities to look at their staffing arrangements and to start to bring them back; you know as required, given the level of work right now. We’re hoping to get a budget, sometimes next week, which means that the entities can then go back to work. But we all have to monitor,” she said in Grand Cape Mount County on Wednesday, November 12.

After serving an initial 30-days compulsory leave, the government in August, extended the break for those it said were “non-essential staff” as part of several measures put in place to tackle the deadly Ebola virus.

She additionally said the government was anticipating the return of investors work in the country, “but it’s a matter of confidence” as “they want to make sure [that the Ebola decline here would] last.

“They are hearing we got positive things, but they want to know it’s true; they want to make sure it’ll last. Maybe they will not want to come when the season is coming,” she told reporters in Cape Mount, saying she expects everybody to be back to work after the season.

Concluding her visit to Grand Cape Mount County, which has in recent weeks had new cases of Ebola infection like River Cess and Gbarpolu Counties, President Sirleaf said Liberia has reached a point at which, at least ten of the fifteen counties have reported no new cases for the past three days.

The President said: “this week, one ambulance and one pickup” would be sent to the government-run St. Timothy Hospital in Roobertsport, and assured other local health centers, including the Sinje Maternity Surgical Clinic in the county, that their hazard pay would be settled.

Earlier, the County Health Officer, Dr. Laurene Cooper told President Sirleaf that there were 32 health facilities in the county, with a single ambulance to respond to Ebola cases, which she said, was not roadworthy.

Making reference to a projection given by a Swedish professor, President Sirleaf said: “as long as we continue to observe the health rules that we have now reached the peak… so, we are now about to turn the curve.”

“That means that we start a downward trend. As a matter of fact, we can see the curve already,” she said, warning that the public should not relax at this time, particularly given that the cases were still being reported in neighboring countries while people cross borders all the time.

“At the same time, what we are beginning to do now is working with our partners to begin to shape resources from ETUs to community care centers so that communities are strengthened to take control of [the entire] contact-tracing and to be able to work on regular health service,” she said.

The President visited the construction site of an Ebola Treatment Unit in the county, with technical work being done by the Armed Forces of Liberia, while the US provides funding.

Women Caucus meets with Pres. Sirleaf

The Women Legislative Caucus of the 53rd Legislature headed by Representative Josephine Francis along with female contestants in the up-coming senatorial election on Thursday, November 13, 2014 met with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry to officially inform her of their ambition.

In response, President Sirleaf said, though she was a partisan, she was encouraging them, especially the contestants to go to the race with vigor and courage in making their dream come through.

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