‘Nimba May Be Quarantined’

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As the Ebola crisis worsens in the country, the City Mayor of Ganta, Dorr Cooper has disclosed that his city could be quarantined, and even the entire county if an increase in Ebola deaths and suspected cases is observed.

Speaking in an exclusive interview following a statement to a Baptist congregation last Sunday,  Mayor Cooper said Ganta had already recorded four deaths and more than five suspected cases.

He disclosed that while a withholding center at the Ganta Hospital already exists to keep suspected persons, authorities are finding it difficult to keep suspected cases in quarantine, as patients are fleeing the center and reintegrating themselves into society, thus putting the entire county at risk of contracting the virus.

He expressed with emphasis that despite heavy news about the increasing number of lives Ebola is claiming in Liberia and other neighboring countries, many people in Ganta and Nimba at large were still denying the existence ofthe disease and accusing local authorities of devising strategies to make money in the name of Ebola.

Regardless of the accusations and denials, the Ganta Mayor said, his office, in collaboration with health authorities, would continue the fight to help people understand the reality and existence of the Ebola virus.

According to him, the Ebola task force of Ganta is vigorously working harder than anyone to spread awareness; but threatened that quarantining the city would become inevitable if people remain in the denial stage, without adhering to precautionary measures they are advised to take.

The Ganta Mayor, who was touring churches in and around Ganta cautioning members about the existence of Ebola,  told the Daily Observer that as the State of Emergency is in place, some rights, including freedom of assembly, have been suspended.

Football games and assembling in video clubs are from henceforth halted, he asserted.

On Monday, it was reported on local community radio in Ganta that three dead bodies related to Ebola were  reported in the LPMC Community, while two were reported in Small Ganta.

According to the information, a lady identified as Roseline died weeks ago but had not been suspected of having contracted Ebola. 

As a result, most family members who were close to her are reportedly coming down with an illness.  The herbalist who reportedly catered to her while she was sick has also come down with a severe illness.

Meanwhile, the propagation of the Ebola message in Ganta and other parts of Nimba has created fear, and many activities in the city have been suspended.

Ganta is the commercial capital of Nimba County, where several businesses are located.  The city hosts over 50,000 people.  A quarantined could lead to food shortages and an escalation in the prices of commodities, as goods from Monrovia will not easily reach a quarantined Nimba.  And with the borders with Guinea and Ivory Coast now closed, the scarcity of basic commodities will only increase.

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