Liberia: Senate Institutes New Measures to Curb the Spread of Coronavirus

Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie

Monrovia – In the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19, the Liberian Senate has announced tight measures that would help contain the spread of the virus.

According to a statement issued by the Senate’s Press and Public Affairs Office, beginning today, March 24, all of its remaining four sittings for the 3rd session before the Easter Break will be conducted in the Joint Chamber of the Legislature with senators seated at least six feet apart.

The statement quoting the Director of Press and Public Affairs at the Liberian Senate- Mr. Jarlawah A. Tonpo further said the public will no longer have access to the Senate during this period.  

According to the statement, “All senators are allowed to have only one staff at a time in the office besides the driver and security that will be posted far off.”

“Accordingly, all departments at the Senate are hereby shutdown for a period of one month with the exception of two employees each from a Department while Maintenance, and Protocol will have five employees at a time.”

Meanwhile, only six accredited journalists and two staff from the Press and Public Affairs Department will now have access to the Senate wing and the Joint Chamber, as recordings will be done and distributed to media institutions.

The Senate has also announced that a regular press briefings will now be done after every session day by the Press Director so that other journalists who won’t have access for that day, to be briefed also.

“Hand washing will be at the Senate entrances and hall ways and shall be observed at all times.

Senators will only attend session as required while only leadership will work on non-session days.”

Ruling Party Constitutes Taskforce against Coronavirus

By Henry Karmo, [email protected] 

Monrovia – In an effort to buttress government fight against the global Coronavirus disease pandemic, the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has constituted a 20-person Special Taskforce to support of the President’s response to contain and prevent the spread of the virus.

According to a press statement from the party, under the signature of its National Chairman, Mulbah Morlu, the formation of the taskforce is premised on CDC’s recognition of the need for a collective and unified national action to bolster government’s efforts in keeping the Liberians safe, secured and healthy, a priority that neutralizes all forms of politics and division.

“Commissioned to help coordinate services to all Liberians (nationwide) during this period and  until the country is officially declared Coronavirus-free, the taskforce has already begun the free distribution of buckets, chlorine (powder), face masks, gloves, hand soap, hand sanitizers, disinfectants (wipes, gels) and  paper towel,” Chairman Morlu said.

Morlu added that accompanying the distribution plan is a thorough awareness campaign to inform, educate communities on how Covid-19 can be contained, prevented and exterminated in the shortest possible time when the MOH’s published health & hygiene measures are observed.

He indicated that the taskforce will accelerate this effort in all 15 counties, working with and utilizing the services of small units of the party’s district & zonal structures, churches, mosques and educational facilities.

The CDC will on Tuesday commence a ‘24-hour prevent COVID-19’ information helpline to bolster the government efforts in curbing the misinformation surrounding the virus spread awareness on its prevention, using WhatsApp, mobile phone hotlines and the CDC-TV Platform.

The taskforce will be chaired by Ernest J. Clarke and co-chaired by Alexander Saydee, as the committee functions under the supervision of the party’s ‘rural empowerment and assistance program’, headed by Montserrado County Electoral District #5 Representative Thomas P. Fallah.

“As the taskforce hits the ground running consistent with the President’s lauded first steps to rid Liberia of Covid-19, the National Executive Committee of the Coalition for Democratic Change, considering coronavirus a public enemy #1, calls on all members of the coalition and leaders and members of opposition political parties, religious groupings, and all Liberians to unite as a united front to exterminate this existential threat to our national security,” he concluded.