Liberia: State of Emergency Extended by 30 Days; June 28 Airport Reopening Still on Course
Monrovia – As Liberia continues to experience a moderate rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, President George Manneh Weah on Monday announced further extension of his State of Emergency.
In a proclamation Monday, the President said: “I, George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, by virtue of the Authority in me vested, do hereby declare and proclaim an extension of the State of Emergency for a period of thirty (30) days effective 22 June (the date of its expiration) and ending on the twenty-one (21) day of July, 2020.”
Despite the extension, the government’s Chief Spokesman, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe told FrontPageAfrica Monday that the Roberts International Airport is still on course for June 28. “We are in discussions to work our modalities for special waiver, in keeping with the health protocols, for airlines. We going to also harmonize the schedules with the other requirements. The date for the airport reopening remains June 28, 2020,” the minister said.
SN Brussels is set to make the first flight out of Brussels on June 29, a day after the resumption of flights. Subsequent flights are also schedule from the US on July 6 and 10th respectively.
We are in discussions to work our modalities for special waiver, in keeping with the health protocols, for airlines. We going to also harmonize the schedules with the other requirements. The date for the airport reopening remains June 28, 2020.”Mr. Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Minister of Information
The emergency measures were approved by the Legislature through a Joint Resolution of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate on 17 April, 2020, and approved by the President and published into handbills on 20 and 21 April 2020 respectively, in response to the effect of Covid-19 on the people and residents of Republic of Liberia.
The State of Emergency includes numerous restrictions on the movements of people and the health protocols (stay-at-home order, social distancing and wearing of masks), the incidence of persons infected by Covid-19 and the incidence of death caused by Covid-19 have increased exponentially.
The extension has been driven by the rise of new cases daily.
The proclamation Monday said as at 17 June, 2020, the Information Management Sysstems (IMS) has reported 542 (five hundred forty-two) total confirmed infected persons and 33 (thirty-three) deaths, prompting the President to request for extension of the State of Emergency.
The President informed the Legislature that the extension will provide the opportunity for the Executive to re-examine its response strategy to Covid-19 and thereby better secure and protect the people and residents of the Republic of Liberia against this dreadful scourge. “Clearly, notwithstanding all the efforts of the Government to control the effect of Covid-19 on our people, especially the SOE Declaration and its attending restrictions on movement of people, social distancing protocols and wearing of masks, the number of people infected by Covid-19 has exponentially increased since the SOE Declaration,” the proclamation stated.
The proclamation further states that the examination period is key for the extension of the SOE for another period of thirty (30) days, during which the Government will re-examine its response strategy to Covid-19 and introduce a program of action to better secure and protect the Liberian people against this dreadful scourge.