Liberia’s Deputy Health Minister for Incident Management is breathlessly optimistic this time around, the country will complete the 42 days countdown to be declared Ebola freed this Saturday, May 9, 2015, nearly 14 months after the Ebola Virus Disease struck here.
Liberia’s first countdown was disrupted in March this year when a female resident of Caldwell Township, Ruth Tugbeh, was pronounced positive by doctors at the Redemption Hospital in the Borough of New Kru Town on Bushrod Island. Ruth subsequently died at the Chinese Ebola Treatment Unit in Paynesville.
Deputy Minister Tolbert Nyenswah told The NewDawn via mobile phone Monday in Monrovia that the nation is closely at the verge of being declared Ebla freed, expressing hope that every Liberian and resident will continue to follow regulatory guidelines set aside by the Health Ministry and other international partners to keep safe and avoid new infection.
The disease claimed several thousand lives here and devastated the economy, prompting the declaration of State of Emergency, curfew and closure of schools by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Minister Nyenswah cautioned Liberians to strictly adhere to all preventive measures in the remaining days and beyond as they go about their normal activities.
Liberia was the worst affected among the three highly hit West African Countries
More than 9,000 people have been killed by the virus, but there has been a general decline in the number of cases in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone with no new cases reported in Liberia since March.
Only three new confirmed cases were reported in the country in the week leading to 8 February, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Leaders of the three states – Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Guinea’s Alpha Conde and Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma – pledged at a meeting in Guinea’s capital Conakry to achieve “zero Ebola infections within 60 days”.
As Liberians strive to completion, the government can’t imagine the happiness and celebrations. Secondly; Ebola free environment will encourage investors and developmental partners to return to the country to continue with support of rebuilding the country that had suffered protracted period of civil unrest.
Ebola relies on intimate social interaction to ensure its continued survival – it is passed on through close contact with the bodily fluids of infected individuals.
This means people who care for the sick are most vulnerable to the disease.
The last confirmed Ebola survivor in Liberia, Madam Beatrice Yardolo, was discharged Thursday, March 5, 2015 from the Chinese Ebola Treatment Unit at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium in Paynesville, to the joy of Liberians. They hope that joy would lead to Ebola freedom on Saturday.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor