Enforcing Ebola Preventive Measures at Our Borders—an Urgent Reminder

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It is known to all of us that by far the busiest of all our land borders is the Ganta border with Guinea. There is no need to remind our people that there was in the past two to three weeks a new Ebola outbreak in Guinea.

Our Nimba Correspondent Ishmael Menkor was the first to break the news of the fresh Ebola outbreak in that country. In his dispatch, he warned that despite the new outbreak of this deadly virus in neighboring Guinea, people were still being allowed to cross the Ganta border in their cars, without being made to get down and wash their hands or take temperatures.

Now Reporter Menkor has once again raised an alarm—that despite the confirmation by the World Health Organization of new Ebola cases in Guinea, not much prevention is taking place at the Ganta border. People are crossing at will, even remaining in their vehicles, without being required to wash their hands and have their temperatures taken.

Do Health Minister Bernice Dahn and Deputy Minister Tolbert Nyensuah truly believe they can take such a risk, by exposing Liberia and Liberians to another Ebola outbreak? Have they forgotten that it was only one Ebola-infected woman who crossed the Foya border in Lofa County into Liberia in March 2014 that spread the virus, resulting in over 4000 deaths, disrupting everything in the country, including our economy and development process?

At the time we blamed the World Health Organization (WHO) for its slow response. Today we will not be able to do that, but have to blame ourselves for taking this deadly chance of playing with Ebola when we know its ghastly consequences.

We certainly believe that there is no need to remind Minister Dahn and her team of experts, who played a valiant role in helping to drive the virus from our shores, with the immense help of our international partners. The health experts know everything; so they do not need anyone—surely not the Daily Observer—to tell them anything about Ebola and what must be done to stem its toxic tide.

The only thing we can do now is to appeal to the President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to give the order to her Health Minister, to the Incident Management System and to the Immigration authorities to get very busy and implement, enforce and execute all the preventive measures—hand washing, temperature taking and anything else that will stop Ebola from reentering our land.

We further call on all homes, offices, banks, business places and schools to reinstitute the preventive measures that helped drive out the virus several months ago.

We pray that all City Councils throughout the country, beginning with the Monrovia and Paynesville City Halls, to clean their cities and the general environment and also implement the preventive measures to forestall the reemergence of Ebola in our land.

We finally call on the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) to do what it has to do to ensure that no one crosses any Liberian border—air, land or sea—without first going through all the preventive measures.

Taking chances is not an option.

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