Red Alert for Filipinos Residing in Liberia

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The second wave of the deadly Ebola virus disease outbreak in Liberia has forced the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to issue a red alert to its nationals residing in Liberia and serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

The Filipino Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised the “crisis Alert Level 2” Wednesday, July 2, for its citizens in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Under Alert Level 2, the over 580 Filipinos in Liberia are instructed to “restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, and take extra precautions.”

“Furthermore, only returning overseas Filipino workers (balik manggagawa) with existing employment contracts will be allowed to go back to the host country,” a statement from the DFA said.

The DFA assured its nationals that it would continue to monitor the incidences of the virus outbreak in the Mano River basin.

Despite this red alert, a 69-year-old Filipino, who has resided in Liberia for the last 45 years, has assured her country’s government that they (Filipinos) are doing all to remain safe, based on the pieces of health tips that are being provided by the Liberian Government’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

Mrs. Maria Eastman, who last May celebrated her 45th wedding anniversary, told the Daily Observer that they would always keep their environments clean and be very conscious of those who come around.

HEALTH MINISTRY SITUATION REPORT

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said the total number of cumulative cases, including confirmed, probable and suspected of the Ebola virus, have hit 104. Included in this number, 48 persons have been confirmed as having the Ebola virus disease. This statistics is, however, from May 29, the date recorded for the outbreak of the second wave.

The virus was reported to be in Liberia since March but there was no report of any case for nearly two months until May.

27 of the 48 are in Lofa with 20 and 1 in Montserrado and Margibi Counties, respectively.

The Ministry also said that at least 66 have reportedly died from the virus infection. However, the Ministry’s situation report states clearly that 32 of the 66 were confirmed to have died from the virus, while the rest falls within the “probable and suspected” cases.

As of March 22 to July 2, the 38 confirmed persons, who have lost their lives to the virus, include at least 10 health workers.

HEALTH MINISTERS MEET IN ACCRA, GHANA

Meanwhile, as the death toll from the virus rises in the three countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the BBC has reported that health ministers from 11 African countries are meeting in Accra, Ghana, in an attempt to "get a grip" on the deadly and worsening Ebola outbreak.

“So far, 763 people have been infected with the virus – and 468 of these have died.

Most of the cases have been in Guinea where the outbreak started.

But it has since spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone and is now the biggest and most deadly Ebola outbreak the world has seen, say officials.

Health officials from those countries, as well as Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal, and Uganda will attend the meeting.”

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