Liberians Hail President Weah For Lifting State of Emergency, Promise to Abide by COVID-19 Health’s Protocols
Monrovia – Several Liberians have praised President George Weah for lifting the State of Emergency which was put in place three months ago. The decision was intended to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus that has ravaged not only Liberia but the entire globe.
According to the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, the country has recorded a total of 1,117 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 433 active cases. Six hundred-thirteen persons have recovered form while 71 persons have died from the virus.
Despite the surge in the number of confirmed cases, Liberians, who spoke to FrontPageAfrica after President Weah lifted the SOE, said it was a good move and promised to abide by all health measures that have been put in place by the Ministry of Health.
FrontPageAfrica’s Webster Clayeh has been speaking to some Liberians to get their reaction about the lifting of the SOE.
Delux Fanhbulleh, Federation of Petite traders and Informal Workers Union of Liberia Nationals Secretary-General
I think the President’s move is in the right direction. Because if you see what is going on around the world, the impact of the COVID-19 has done so many things in terms of being negative. So, the move by President Weah not to extend the state of emergency will be a boost for our economy.
What we need to be mindful of is to make sure that we abide by all of the health measures prescribed by the health authority.
During the state of emergency, the major problems the vendors were comforted with was time. We never had enough time to do our business. Also, we never had the freedom to do their businesses.
And you know when vendors are not selling it brings some level of hardship because we are depending on our daily sell for survival.
So, indeed with the pronouncement from the government that the state of emergency will not be extended, I think it is in the right direction and I can tell you that every vendor is happy over the pronouncement. Vendors got to be on the alert because COVID-19 is still in Liberia and we got to make sure that we abide by all the health protocols.
Doris Gaye, Gifts Decoration Vender on Randall Street:
The President’s decision to lift the state of emergency is good. I am feeling fine, I thank God for President Weah. We used to suffer during the state of emergency. During the 6 am to 3 pm lockdown, I never used to sell. The time went from 6 am to 6 pm before I started selling.
I was sitting home for months. Then later, because I have children and they got to eat every day. So, when the time went from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. I started to sell.
Even from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., it was not easy for me; when I finished parking my market, I can suffer to get car to home. I am living in Caldwell-Georgia. When I go to the car parking, no bus. Even if the bus is there everybody will fight to get on the bus to go home.
During the state of emergency, I hardly used to sell. Already no business, when you come, God gives you one or two customers. You have to pay for transportation; your children have to eat. But the way the country is opened now, we pray that things will be alright. God says everything we do we should pray
Cyrus Revees, Vender
For me, I am happy about the decision the President took. Right now, if you look a the present economic situation in the country, things are getting hard for the common man. So, lifting the state of emergency at least the business condition will improve gradually.
The business, during the state of emergency time, was very slow where people pack their market, especially by 3 pm. In Liberia, normally people do not buy soon morning. People begin to buy in the afternoon. So, because of the time business was very low. Citizens were finding it difficult to feed their families and taking care of their basic needs. So, lifting the state of emergency by the President is good for the citizens, we have free movement, the business will start to go on and the economy will continue to grow.
Also, looking at the increased in the cases of the Coronavirus, and taking into consideration the health protocols we should always observe the social distancing, and the wearing of masks dalthough the President has lifted the state of emergency. Coronavirus is real and we should help ourselves to stop the spread of the virus.
Mary Kerkula, University of Liberia Student
The Coronavirus pandemic is something that has to do with health matters. So, even the declaration of the state of emergency was not necessary.
So, while we are still experiencing an increase in cases in Liberia, I think it is prudent that the Minister of Health should play her role with other institutions to come with public health protocol that will prevent the ordinary people that will be going about their normal businesses.
If you take a look back and observe, it was the first two orders from 6 am to 3 pm was what people were concern about. But from the time the President extended the lockdown period from 3 pm to 6 pm and even 9 pm; before him even declaring yesterday as other people consider the “opening of outside”, people were doing some other stuff that has to do with public gathering, it was almost like we were in normal time.
So, what it is true that the President has lifted the state emergency, it means that the Ministry of Health and other partners have to be very vigilant in implementing the necessary health protocols. They need to have observers in various communities, districts as well as counties. The area where I lived, people go about their normal clubbing and other public gatherings as if we are in normal time.
Alex Gaye, Tricycle Taxi Rider
Hearing that the President lifted the state of emergency I feel satisfied; my hustle will go on smoothly. Durng the state of emergency time things were hard on me.
Because I run in the morning to 6 pm. The time was too short. It was difficult for people to leave their houses. We who ride Kehkeh, there was not enough time for us to run [commute passenegers]. Lifting the state of emergency is good and business will be fine. Moreover, we are on our independence day celebration week. We just need to abide by the health protocol set aside.
Dearest Davies, Motorbike Taxi Rider
I feel good because lifting the state of emergency gives me enough time to run my motorbike. During the state of emergency, I used to make L$1500 or sometime L$2000 because there was not enough time. Now that the President has lifted the state of emergency, my hustle will not be bad because the time has added up.
Although the cases of Coronavirus are increasing, opening up the country is not bad. Moreover, we are on our Independence Day celebration week.
The President told us that no mask, no ride. So, anyone that does not have a nose mask cannot ride with me. I think that we can stop the spread of the virus by abiding by the health measures.
Henry Dorbor, Money Exchanger
For me, I am not happy for the President to lift the state of emergency. To just open it without a time limit, for me, I have a little problem with that.
COVID-19 is on the increase; there is no doubt about it. But again, if you look at it from a business perspective, business people will be happy because it’s going to give them more time to do their business and feed their families.
Lifting the state of the emergency is another thing and instituting the health protocol to the fullest is another thing. And if the issue of abiding by the health protocol is downplayed it will increase the cases of the virus and again it might also have a trigger down effect on the same economy we are trying to strengthen.
I want to recommend to the President to extend the time from 6 am to 9 pm and make sure every Liberian wear the facemask and also let the police enforce it.
For me, I am not looking at the state of emergency, the Coronavirus has caused a trigger down effect in terms of job losses. I am a college graduate and I work for more than seven professional years. The virus has a lot of economic effects on people.