Skip to main content
08 Apr 2020 | 04:20 PM UTC

Liberia: Authorities to declare state of emergency from April 10 due to COVID-19 /update 3

Authorities to declare state of emergency starting on April 10 due to COVID-19; follow government directives

entry/exit
health
legal
transportation
LBR

Event

On Wednesday, April 8, Liberia's President George Weah announced that he intends to declare a state of emergency starting at 23:59 (local time) on Friday, April 10, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. President Weah has called for an emergency session of parliament so that MPs can approve the measure. The emergency law would last for three weeks and is renewable. Throughout this period, residents may only leave home for essential journeys such as food shopping and for medical purposes, which should be restricted to local communities and be limited to a single person per household for a maximum of one hour.

Since Monday, March 16, all foreign travelers arriving from countries with more than 200 confirmed cases of the virus are prohibited from entering the country.

On Monday, March 30, authorities announced the immediate closure of the country's land borders with Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. According to the statement, the borders will be shut for an initial 30-day period to all but essential goods and transportation services.

Currently, all schools, universities, and places of worship remain shut. Authorities have urged the people to minimize travel within Liberia, avoid large gatherings, and observe good personal hygiene.

As of Wednesday, April 8, Liberia has recorded 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including four associated fatalities.

Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.