Liberia Under State of Emergency Over Ebola Outbreak

Liberia Ebola outbreak 2014Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared on Wednesday, August 6, a ‘state of emergency’ all over the country. This is after death due to Ebola virus continues its rise in West Africa. This has been the worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded in history. The World Health Organization announced also on Wednesday that there are 932 deaths confirmed due to Ebola hemorrhagic fever, with 1,711 confirmed cases. The figure covers the deaths mostly from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, and Liberia.

“The scope and scale of the epidemic, the virulence and deadliness of the virus now exceed the capacity and statutory responsibility of any one government agency or ministry,” the Liberian president was quoted in a statement, upon declaring ‘state of emergency’ in the country, which will last for at least 90 days. There is no report on the official count of deaths in Liberia due to Ebola outbreak.

“The government and people of Liberia require extraordinary measures for the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people. Ignorance, poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease,” she added. Last week, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma also announced ‘state of emergency’ in their country.

Started in Guinea this March, Ebola virus has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria. The Nigerian health department confirmed that a nurse named Patrick Sawyer died due to Ebola, while five others have diagnosed with the disease. Earlier, two American aid workers who work for Samaritan’s Purse were infected in Liberia are now in an Atlanta hospital under strict observation.

Also this Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 1 response for all-hands to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. The announcement was posted on Twitter by CDC chief Tom Frieden. This is the highest alert level (Level 6 is the lowest), and is being reserved for cases that requires the most serious public health emergencies. The last time CDC issued a Level 1 alert was in 2009, due to Swine Flu outbreak. The same announcement was made in 2005, due to Hurricane Katrina.