E D I T O R I A L
It doesn’t make sense! So the Unity Party led government has declared a state of emergency as the killer virus wreaks havoc on Africa’s first independent nation, yet there are dead bodies lying in the streets and are left to rot in the open! Think about that for a moment and let it sink in! Think about the flies that are crowding these bodies, the same flies that will visit homes and sit noses of little children and food of even adults. There are also reports that bodies were lying in a river for several days and no action taken to remove the bodies, not before they were already decomposed, and these corpses being talked about here are all suspected to be Ebola victims! But yet there is a state of emergency in place to deal with the situation!? God help us! This is unfortunate and unacceptable!
Reports from aid agencies notes that about 40 health workers in Liberia are now Ebola infected in recent weeks and most hospitals and clinics are inoperative, given these concerns, the situation grows dire by the day.
The World Health Organization is reporting and has declared the Ebola epidemic an “international health emergency.” It made the declaration on Friday. There is growing restlessness in Liberia that has seen almost 300 people dead.
The death toll in Liberia is mounting by the day and observers believed it will get worse faaarrr worse! The reasons primarily have been citizens own inaction in not taking this killer disease seriously at the initial stage when the outbreak was first reported and even now, a lot of people are still not reporting, consequently in most cases care is NOT even available. When the Associated Press reports that people are lying dead in the streets and homes, it is a fear the Liberian Listener expressed on July 26, as Liberia celebrated its 176 independence anniversary, that many citizens were hiding from authorities, now they are dropping dead in the streets and their homes. God knows how many people they may have infected before their own deaths, hence, government own incapacity in dealing with the virus, such as we are seeing with these dead bodies that are not being collected timely, as they rot in the streets exposing an already vulnerable population to more infections, this is unbelievable and unacceptable!!
“Several bodies had been lying by the roadside for two days in the central town of Weala, 50 miles (75 kilometers) from the capital of Monrovia, and no government agency had picked them up, residents said,” according to a report by the Associated Press
The Ebola virus is transmitted when bodily fluids of its victims come in contact with individuals. Hence, a lot of people in Liberia and the sub region are infected this way, because they are touching and handling corpses. The fears of residents therefore are justified, if they do not want to handle these corpses that are lying in the streets. While the Liberian government has said it wants Ebola victims cremated it is not known if certified cremation centers are set up to effectuate this process!
Information Minister Lewis Brown was right when on Saturday this week, he said on state radio that citizens should not take the law into their hands. He was speaking in relations to those who are blocking a major highway in demand that government must be proactive in removing corpses from the streets and homes! This must be done and this must be done as quickly as possible! The source of the problem and the epidemic Guinea has now close it borders with Liberia today, perhaps realizing that the situation in Liberia is likely to REALLY GET OUT OF HAND, because this Ebola virus is still seen as “a play play thing” in Liberia. This is not the time for no fancy slogans and proclamations. While the Liberian Listener commends the govt and the many health workers that are sacrificing their lives, but more needs to be done!