–Wants Senate to invite MoH, NPHIL, Justice Ministry
Senator Oscar Cooper of Margibi County has requested the Liberian Senate to invite institutions responsible to handle the situation of the Coronavirus pandemic to appear before that body to explain “What really is the national strategy towards this coronavirus, this is what I am asking for.”
Speaking during Wednesday sitting, Senator Cooper warned that the country is losing sight of the coronavirus disease.
“Protemp and fellow colleagues, I think there is a need to invite the National Response Team here to explain to us what they are doing now with the national response strategy. I am concerned that the rate of this disease is increasing, I think we need to get a little more serious; need to ask those responsible for the response to come and brief us.”
The outspoken Senator argued that the National Response Team cannot under the increase in infection rate, allow the lockdown to be relaxed. “We should be very careful, Protemp, because this thing is exponential in South America, is giving Brazil a lot of trouble, people are dying in number. We should not underestimate this virus; Liberians are going about their business, not wearing masks, observing the social distancing at six feet; I think we are letting our guards down and letting our people down.”
If this disease gets to where it becomes exponential, Senator Cooper warned, “We will have serious problems with our weak health system in this country. So I want the professionals, the experts, to come and explain to us what really is the national strategy towards this coronavirus.”
Also expressing serious reservation regarding the national response to the virus was Grand Cape Mount County Senator H. Varney Sherman, who recalled that when the state of emergency was declared, the incident of the virus was twenty cases; “Since that time the incident has been rising, and according to the report from yesterday (June 9), there are 389 cases.”
“According to a press release which I think is authentic that the state of emergency will relapse through the close of time, and yet we have no report as to what has been achieved by our official declaration of this state of emergency; this is why I think that it is necessary for the public health authorities to come and give us some information. What is it that will substitute the state of emergency if it elapses through the influx of time so that we can be assured that the necessary health guidelines are put in place and are implemented to curb the incident of the virus,” Senator Sherman asked.
Senator Sherman recalled that in other countries, restrictions were lifted when the curve started going down. “We are about to lift the restrictions while the cases are still going up…so I think it is appropriate to bring the authorities of the government of Liberia-the Ministers of Health, Justice and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia to inform us if the state of emergency will expire through the expiration of time which is June 21, 2020; then what is it that will be put in place to ensure that they continue to take the necessary guidelines and implement them for the protection of our people.”
The Ministers of Health, Justice, and the Director-General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, and members of the National Response Team are expected to appear before the Senate next Wednesday.