Barkedu Must be Quarantined!

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Members of the Barkedu Development Association (BDA) based in the United States of America (USA) are calling on the government of Liberia to quarantine the township of Barkedu located in Quardu Gboni District, Lofa County.

The BDA members, through their president Abdullah S. Sheriff, said the move would help contain the Ebola virus that has wreaked great havoc in the area.

The township and district have been the hardest hit since the outbreak of the virus in the country. Some 130 people from Barkedu and the district as a whole have been taken to the Foya treatment center. Of that number, 70 people have died.

An earlier amount of 34 people also died in the township of Barkedu, including a family of 15 that was completely wiped out.

The township is predominantly inhabited by the Mandingo tribe.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, while announcing the state of emergency imposed last month, said that ignorance, poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease especially in the counties.

Mr. Sheriff alleged that all those who died were buried without medical advice and has created many suspected Ebola cases among citizens of the town and district. Barkedu is the largest town and political seat of Quardu Gboni District.

The BDA president, according to a communication, said government’s failure to quarantine Barkedu Town after the outbreak of the Ebola virus has exacerbated the situation in the area, something he described as very outrageous and disappointing, especially being one of the towns in Lofa County that has recorded the largest number of deaths from the Ebola virus.

The BDA leader  indicated that the disease has killed more people in the town and district than any other part of the country due to the Liberian  government and its Ministry of Health’s  failure to quarantine and open a treatment center in the town, which he believes could have helped to save lives.

He disclosed that at present there are 250 Ebola cases in Barkedu Town and the district.  He thinks the only way the majority of their people could have survived from the disease was for the government to quarantine the entire district and provide for the people the necessary medical treatments and food.

"If President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government should win the "ninety (90) days State of Emergency War" against the deadly Ebola Virus in Liberia, she must do everything possible to open centers in Barkedu which has been singled out to have largest Ebola cases in Liberia."

Meanwhile, Mr. Sheriff has described the State of Emergency declared by President Sirleaf early last month to contain the spread of the virus, as a good move, but added that it would not have been necessary had government been more proactive from the onset of the fight against the virus.

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