Ebola Virus Complacency Sparks Grave Concern in Liberia

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The United Nations and international and local medical agencies have cautioned Liberians against complacency about the Ebola virus spread.

Liberians, especially those in Montserrado County and some other parts of the country reporting new Ebola cases, have been strongly warned to avoid traditional burial practices and harmful religious beliefs that promote the spread of the deadly virus.

Furthermore Liberians are urged by authorities leading the Ebola fight to desist from all acts that are counterproductive to the eradication of the virus and to remain in strict compliance with preventive measures such as frequently washing hands, avoiding crowdedness, handshakes and hugging.

These warnings come against the backdrop of Liberians gathering in large numbers and going back to the entrenched practices driven by traditional and religious beliefs, which include washing and touching suspected Ebola dead bodies.

Moreover, during the Christmas celebrations, many Liberians and businesspeople were seen crowded into commercial and private vehicles owing to the acute transportation shortage, especially in the nation’s capital, Monrovia.

Reasons cited for the Ebola spread in Montserrado County are the defiant behavior of residents in overcrowding at entertainment centers and in transport vehicles, ignoring the health measures. Commercial and public service transport providers were seen crowding passengers and relatives into their vehicles.  Some motorcyclists are now carrying three to four passengers on one motorbike, whereas they had been instructed to carry only one person per ride.

The UN and medical aid agencies have warned about the consequences of the resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus on the entire population, cautioning that despite the enormous gains by the Liberian Government and its support partners, complacency and return to old habits must be sternly discouraged in every corner and hamlet of Liberia.

Some of Monrovia’s health commentators told the Daily Observer during the weekend that it should not be surprising that the Ebola virus continues to spread in Montserrado County, especially over the past few months.

Regrettably, in spite of enormous medical assistance that has been infused in Montserrado County, the virus continues to spread in some areas.

The Incident Management Team leader of the Ebola virus at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), Assistant Minister Tolbert Nyeswah, disclosed recently that 47 new cases of the deadly virus have surfaced in Grand Cape Mount County.

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