Liberia Orders All Embassies closed, Instructs Citizens Abroad to Stay in Current Location
Buchanan, Grand Bassa County – Liberia has instructed all its embassies to immediately “shut down” operations as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infects more than one million two hundred seventeen thousand seven hundred twenty-four people globally.
Liberian ambassadors accredited across the world have been asked to work from home and reduce the number of COVID-19 infection at their various diplomatic missions.
Foreign Minister Gbehzongar Milton Findley disclosed that the measure is aimed at beefing up global effort aimed at curtaining the further spread of the Novel Coronavirus which has already claimed more than 68 lives
Findley, speaking to this paper in Buchanan, Grand Bassa Sunday said the government of Liberia “takes the global COVID-19 pandemic seriously and wants to ensure all of its citizens are safe”.
To date, the coronavirus has caused more than 56,831 deaths, with just 253,706 recoveries across the world. COVID 19 is affecting 208 countries and territories around the world and two international conveyances.
Asked about the faith of thousands of Liberians who may be stranded in foreign nations, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the Government of Liberia has instructed all citizens abroad to “remain wherever they are until further notice”. He added that the government also encourages people in county to “stay home” and stop the possibilities of infecting others.
“Well, I have instructed all embassies closed as of three weeks ago and we are working through the media, social media, we keep an open line and I talk to the ambassadors every day. We have established a social media chartroom to enable communication, all Ambassadors are working from home,” said Foreign Minister Findley.
As of Sunday, March 5, 2020, Liberia has recorded three deaths and with a total of thirteen cases of coronavirus since the country reported its first case on the 16 of March 2020.
Health Minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah announced on state radio ELBC Sunday that the out of the three new cases tow were people presenting with COVID-19 cases and dies as health authorities were concerned
“They died outside of our treatment center, either at home or in other hospitals”, the Health Minister noted
Speaking to the possibility of Liberia receiving substantial assistance from international partners, Minister Gbehzongar Findley said: “the international community is helping us to deal with the coronavirus in Liberia and we also reaching out to some of our partners”
He, however, stresses that “part of the problem with the coronavirus is that most of our partners are also hit by this coronavirus and so we are reaching out to them and hoping that they will reach out to us”.
Minister Findley said the United States and China have so far responded while the West African State of Nigeria has also helped with provision of “Chemicals”.
The former Bassa Senator also disclosed that President George Weah has already given instruction to all ministries and agencies to go out and seek assistance from all of Liberia’s partners to contain the virus.
Asked if he was confident that Liberia has “what it takes” to defeat COVID-19, Minister Findley responded: “I have no doubt in my mind that Liberians are resilient people, time, we will fight this virus in unity as a nation. The virus is not going to come as a political party or whether you from Grand Kru, Cape Mount or Bassa. The Virus does not discriminate so new have to fight this virus as Liberians and I can only appeal to all Liberian to put aside our differences and fight as a nation”.
The Foreign Minister called on the people of Liberia to take the advice of the health experts seriously, keep social distances and report sick people to hospitals for early treatment
Findley who was seen with scores of faucet-attached hand washing buckets at his private home in Grand Bassa revealed that as part of the fight against Coronavirus, he was distributing several buckets to the communities across the county.
Seemed not pleased with the conduct of locals in observance of the health measures in his native county, he expressed displeasured and called for tougher measures to ensure that people across the county adhere to the preventive protocols.
“I think the measures have not been enforced like the way we would like to see it enforce. We would like to see all places of worship shut down, we need to shut it down and prevent all forms of large gathering” he concluded.
On Sunday many new denominational churches in Buchanan remained opened and welcomed hugged congregations as markets and some entertainment places in the port city of Buchanan also remained attended with good number of people.