The world today is facing a major health and medical crisis owing to the terrible disease known as Coronavirus (COVID-19), which broke out first in Wuhan, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China.
Yesterday, Monday, March 17, 2020 the Government of Liberia announced that this deadly disease had reached Liberia, too, with the arrival back in the country of the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nathaniel Blama, who has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus disease.
In this Editorial we are appealing to Liberians to STOP politicizing everything because in this country, when sensitive national issues get political, it usually means someone messed up somewhere.
And who was it that messed up? Was it the health authorities, or Mr. Blama, who returned to Liberia along with other government officials on Friday, March 13, 2020 on a Brussels Airlines flight from Switzerland through Brussels, Belgium? Belgium is a country in Europe, the continent that is most seriously afflicted with the deadly Coronavirus disease apart from China.
This led President George Weah to deliver yesterday morning a nationwide broadcast, confirming Mr. Blama’s affliction with this disease, which a leading Liberian medical practitioner yesterday told the Daily Observer was “more deadly than Ebola.” So President Weah said in his nationwide Address yesterday morning that when Mr. Blama’s temperature was taken at the airport, whatever the case was, he was allowed to go home.
No sooner had Mr. Blama arrived home than he realized he was seriously ill; so he called the health authorities and asked for further tests, which confirmed that he is a carrier of the Coronavirus disease. He has since been quarantined.
A quick and URGENT question: what about all the others who were on the Brussels Airlines flight with Mr. Blama? Have they now turned themselves in for quarantining? If not, why not? After all, they all, like Mr. Blama, flew in from the same Europe to the same Liberia on the same aircraft. It is understood that one person who was with Mr. Blama on that inbound flight was Mr. Jeremiah Sokan, another EPA top official, who also attended the Green Climate Fund Board Meeting in Switzerland.
Have Mr. Sokan and others on that flight not also been quarantined? We submit that this is another distinct indication that we are not a serious country. For how do we Liberians engage in the stupidity of flirting with so dangerous and deadly a disease like the Coronavirus — a disease that is killing people in some of the world’s most advanced places, including Italy and elsewhere in Europe?
To prove further that we are not a serious country, it is alleged that Tolbert Nyesuah, the former Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), fled the country few months ago with a lot of the Institute’s money and remains at large. Why? Why has the Liberian government not contacted INTERPOL to have Nyesuah arrested and brought back to Liberia to face justice?
The primary purpose of this Editorial is to sound a serious warning to all of us Liberians, all our Town and Paramount Chiefs, all our City Mayors and County Superintendents and the entire government, beginning with the Ministry of Health. The WARNING is for all of them to get busy paying serious attention to HEALTH and SANITATION. All of these officials, beginning with our Town, Clan and Paramount Chiefs and, most especially our City Mayors, should leave their desks and go out into the fields and CLEAN UP YOUR TOWNS AND CITIES, and most especially, your marketplaces where Liberians buy their food.
When last did the Monrovia City Mayor visit the Douala Marketplace?
When last did the Paynesville City Mayor visit the Paynesville Red Light Market?
Everyone knows that these two marketplaces are the filthiest in the country; yet it is in these places that Monrovians and people in nearby areas buy their food.
We make this URGENT appeal to all Liberian city leaders, most especially to those of our two most populous Montserrado cities — Monrovia, our capital, and Paynesville — to clean up their marketplaces at Douala, the Water Side and Paynesville Red Light.
Creating a dirt-free Monrovia, a dirt-free Paynesville and a dirt-free Liberia is one of the most effective ways we can forestall and prevent the outbreak of the Coronavirus or any other deadly epidemic.