Few hours ago today, the World Health Organization's (WHO) Representative to Liberia, Dr. Alex Gasasira read a statement declaring Liberia free of the Ebola virus.
This announcement comes after the entire nation completed the required 42-days, two-incubation periods without a confirmed case. Indeed, 42 days since the last ebola victim was buried, but today is the 50th day since the last case was reported in last March.
At the 359th Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Meeting, Mr. Luke Bawo, Head of Epidemic Survilliance, the man who leads the group that takes stock of the daily Ebola happenings around the country, said the entire country was now "green". This means that the entire nation is now Ebola-free.
In brief remarks the US Ambassador to Liberia, Madam Deborah Malac, said she and the American people, are grateful that they were able to help to make Liberia Ebola free. She further stated that it is now time to begin the development of Liberia.
UNMEER head, Peter Graaf, who sopke on behalf of the UN Family, buttressed the US Ambassador on Liberia getting back on the path of development. He humorously told President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the he couldn't wait to learn the famous Liberian handshake.
Outgoing Health Minster, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, said he was grateful that the country has now been declared Ebola free. He however, cautioned everyone to keep all the Ebola protocols, including continuing the washing of hands.
"We are not totally off the hook because our neighbors– Guinea and Sierra Leone — are still reporting confirmed cases," Health Min. Gwenigale said.
Before she began her brief remarks, the Liberian leader called for a moment of silience for the more than 4000 Liberians, who died because of the virus. Most of the dead were cremated, a cultural shock for many Liberians who traditionally bury their dead.
The President said she sometimes re-lives some of horrifying moments from the height of the Ebola epidemic with sirens blaring across the city, people dropping dead in the streets, doctors and other health workers fleeing the hospitals for their lives as they, too, were falling victim to the virus.
She announced that today (Monday), the goverment was expecting a number of African leaders, including the President of Nigeria, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, to grace the formal celebration of the WHO declaration.
The President, too, cautioned Liberians against doing things that endanger their own lives and that of their relatives.