Gov’t Closes Nimba-Grand Gedeh Boundary

By benim
In Liberia
Aug 20th, 2014
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As the deadly Ebola Virus rages  across Nimba county, the Government of Liberia over the weekend deployed the Army to close the Nimba – Grand Gedeh border at the Cestor River to prevent the virus from reaching other parts of the country which lie across the river.

Superintendent Fong Zuagele disclosed to the Task Force last Sunday at the meeting in Saclepea that officers and men of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) were deployed to curtail the movement along the highway.

Jacob Bantu of Tapita told the Daily Observer that it is not easy for travelers from both sides to cross over to either side.

“The whole of today, nobody has been allowed to cross on  either side of the Nimba-Grand Gedeh border, with the exception of those working with an NGO, press, or health workers, among others,” he said.

“Even before anyone crosses to either side, s/he will go through temperature testing, do hand washing,” he added.

Over a week ago, similar action was taken by the authority of Nimba when a checkpoint was erected at the St. John River, which, divides Nimba and Bong, to check the temperatures of travelers entering and leaving Nimba.

Nonetheless, the death toll from Ebola continues to rise, especially in Nimba’s  commercial city of Ganta,  where about five dead bodies were recently discovered across the city with 14 persons  seriously ill.

The series of deaths and the fate of relocating the probable and suspected cases remains one of the cardinal problems in fighting the deadly disease,  which has claimed the lives of thousand in the Mano River Basin.

To date, many who are showing signs and symptoms of sickness are yet to be relocated or treated, or provided with food supplies.

The earmarked holding site at the Ganta Hospital is yet to be rehabilitated for suspected or probable cases to be taken there for treatment. 

At certain homes around in the LPRC Community since 17th August 2014, four bodies were reported, with two of the dead, children, being buried while two others were still  awaiting burial. 

The lack of vehicles to quickly remove the dead for burial and also space for burial remains the major challenge to combating the Ebola in Nimba.

Charles Miller, a resident of Tapita said, “The closing of the road to Grand Gedeh may likely be followed by blocking the Ganta-Tapita highway.  This will cause things to get  worse daily, as prices go up after people hear the news.

Nimba, especially Ganta, is in the spotlight to be quarantined due to the increasing Ebola deaths.  But, according to Ganta City Mayor Dorr Cooper, a feasibility survey is underway to look into the economic activities and movements of ArcelorMittal, the county’s  major employer.

Meanwhile, an Ebola victim is said to be lying dead in Karnplay with nowhere to bury to the corpse.

The Ganta Task Force has set up a team of nurses to cater to those under quarantine at their various homes waiting to be transferred to the holding site or center.  

First aid drugs were procured by the Ganta Task Force with funding from the well wishers within the city to meet the needs of quarantined patients.

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