-Says LNBA president Gongloe
Counselor Tiawan Gongloe, president of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) says for precautionary action against the deadly COVID-19 virus that is spreading rapidly in the country, he will support more stringent measures if those announced by President George Weah were not working to stop the spread of the disease.
Cllr. Gongloe said the LNBA, which is responsible for all lawyers in the country, fully supports the declaration made by the President about the state of emergency as a means of combating the disease, which according to him does not have any cure for now.
Cllr. Gongloe’s statement came after President George Weah announced a State of Emergency as a measure to combat the deadly COVID-19. According to a confirmed report, the country infected rate has jumped for 14 to 31 as of yesterday, April 8, with 4 reported deaths.
He made the statement when he addressed journalists at the Temple of Justice.
Defending his action, Gongloe said “Because the virus is more dangerous than even the civil and conventional warfare, he would support any drastic decision the government would take just to save the lives of the population.
Gongloe, meanwhile, assured the government about his association’s readiness to support any action that would be taken to protect the lives of the population.
“There should be no opposition to the President’s statement because the COVID-19 is more dangerous even than the Ebola that we experienced few years back,” Gongloe emphasized.
“Other countries have instituted more stringent measures and we can do likewise to stop the disease from killing our population. So, we need to support any stringent measures introduced by this government,” the LNBA president pleaded with the citizens.
Later, Gongloe urged his colleagues, particularly those having law firms to disengage from allowing more clients entering their premises, pleading, “You have to ensure social distancing at your law firm.”
The government’s State of Emergency affects all 15 counties in the Republic of Liberia, and all ordered quarantined from 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2020, until further notice.
President Weah noted: “As a further measure under this State of Emergency, all Liberians and residents within the borders of Montserrado County, Margibi County, Nimba County, and Grand Kru County are to STAY AT HOME for the next 14 days, beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2020.”
“Throughout this period residents may leave home only for essential journeys for reasons of health and food, which should be restricted to your local community only, and be limited to a single person per household for a maximum of one hour,” the president noted.
According to Weah, “exceptions shall be made for persons who are designated as essential staff in government offices, banks, supermarkets, and other business establishments such as hotels, petrol stations, and health facilities to travel directly to work and return directly home. All such commercial activities are to be closed no later than 3:00 p.m.”
“All non-essential businesses and Government offices will remain closed, with the exception of essential businesses, health facilities and a few key government offices, such as the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Bank of Liberia, the National Port Authority, the Liberia Revenue Authority, the Monrovia City Corporation, and the Liberia Broadcasting System, and accredited media, where only a skeleton staff will be given passes to work.”
Excluding other public entities, Weah said, “other government offices may be designated as exempt based on the essential nature of their function. Meanwhile, non-exempt government employees and people in the private sector are encouraged to work from home.”
“Also exempted from these restrictions are: (a) production, distribution, and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and medicine; (b) environmental and sanitation activities; ( c) members of the security forces assigned to lawful duties; (d) essential staffs of electricity, water, telecommunications, banking, and hotels, and (e) the staff of fuel stations,” the president indicated.