By Hannah N. Geterminah

Information Minister Eugene Nagbe

The government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information has called on citizens across Montserrado and Margibi Counties to respect the ‘stay-at-home order that is indented to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Ministry in a press statement said the government’s attention has been drawn to acts of violation of the pronounced stay-at-home measures by individuals claiming to possess passes that allow them to be out of their homes after 3:00 PM, which runs contrary to the expressed intent of the State of Emergency.

Fahngon said “going forward, only health workers and their support staff, accredited journalists on duty, members of the House of Representative, Senate and Judiciary will be exempted. All other persons, including other officials of government in the streets after 3 PM is a violation of the law.”

He reiterated government’s mandate that compels everyone to respect the security apparatus, including the Monrovia and Paynesville city police groups which are Part of the security network- as they carry out the enforcement of the measures indented to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while also maintaining city ordinance.

Even though many Liberians on social media have questioned the importance of City Police in the enforcement of the state of emergency that was not declared by the City Mayor but President George M. Weah that only needs to be implemented by the Ministry of Justice and the Joint security apparatus, the government on April 14, 2020, allowed them (City Police) to stay out in the street to enforce the State of Emergency order.

Fahngon said all Liberians are required to obey these stipulated protocols as the country strives to preserve lives and the stability of the country.

He, however, indicated that the disruption of normal activities occasioned by the state of emergency measures is hopefully only temporary.

It may be recalled that President George Weah declared the State of Emergency based on his constitutional prerogative to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus after Liberia had recorded 14 cases and three deaths earlier.  The state of emergency took direct effect on Friday, April 10, 2020, at 11:59 and it continues for additional two weeks from henceforth.

The State of Emergency is declared to have people kept in the vicinity of their homes to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 that medical sources say can be contracted from sneezing and coughing; something that the World Health Organization (WHO) has instituted measures of social distancing, avoidance of handshakes and touching of the eyes and nose with filthy hands, and constant hand-washing for everyone to go by.

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