Supt. Bans Canoes, Boats’ Entry into Cape Mount

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The administration of Grand Cape Mount County in Western Liberia has with immediate effect banned all fishing canoes and boats from Monrovia and other places entering the county.

The county’s imposition of the ban comes barely a week after Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS), Colonel Eric W. Dennis, instructed soldiers to institute military rules of engagement against people suspected of crossing the Liberia/Sierra Leone border entry points under the cover of darkness.

Soldiers’ four cardinal rules of engagement, according to the AFL top brass, are firstly to  ‘halt’ anyone suspected of migrating into the country under the cover of darkness.

Thereafter, he said, the suspect has to be identified; “if not, issue a warning shot if the suspect does not abide by the order.”

Col. Dennis called for collaboration among joint security officers from the two countries assigned at the border to protect the lives of their respective citizens from the outburst of the deadly Ebola virus.

But the county Superintendent, Imam Mohammed A. Paasewe, told the Daily Obsever on Monday in Sinje Town, Garwula District, that he ordered the joint security in the county to arrest and prosecute canoe and boat owners, who travel to Cape Mount in violation of the ban imposed by the administration. 

He said the action was advised by a recent report that some unknown persons had vandalized the Ebola suspected patients with holding center in the township of West Point in Monrovia.

According to him, the escaped of patients at the center to unknown destinations has created fear and serious concern among Cape Mountainous.

Superintendent Paasewe explained that mutual understanding and cordial relationship has existed between Cape Mount and West Point over the years due,  to both communities' involvement in fishing.

Notwithstanding, he said the administration, in collaboration with the County Health Team (CHT), has put in place measures to contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, adding that he does not want the process to be interrupted by anyone.

He appealed to citizens of the county to assist the joint security by reporting the movement of strange canoes and boats on the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Piso, the county’s giant lake, to avoid infiltration into the county by ‘unscrupulous’ persons. 

In a related development, The World Bank (WB) and the African Union (AU) have outlined four key areas that must form the focus of the emergency response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Those four areas are the rapid deployment of more health workers and laboratories; clinics and testing equipment; more effective communication in communities; and building stronger health systems.

The two institutions made the statement in a message signed by WB president Jim Yong Kim and AU Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma,  published in Liberian dailies on  Monday.

“Firstly, we must support health workers who are on  the front line in fighting this epidemic. They have paid too great a price thus far with close to 100 workers having lost their lives attending to the sick,” they said.

The two leaders said there was a need to deliver proper protective equipment, provide access to necessary supplies, pay workers commensurate with their” heroic work” and make available high quality care should they fall ill.

The second pillar, the WB and AU said, requires the quick deployment of more health workers and to provide more mobile laboratories, clinics and rapid testing equipment.

Under the third approach, the two institutions said the affected countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – and their international partners need to communicate about Ebola much more effectively to communities.

The fourth focus, according to the WB and AU, is to build stronger health systems so that when another outbreak of an infectious disease occurs, the affected countries would be able to respond more effectively.

The two expressed confidence that the Ebola virus disease response plan, led by the affected countries and World Health Organization, can contain the outbreak and “in a matter of months, extinguish it.”

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