Tolbert Nyenswah, Deputy Health Minister for Disease, Surveillance and Epidemic Control has told the Liberian Senate not to order the closure of Liberia’s borders with neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone. According to the Deputy Minister during his appearance before the plenary of the Liberian senate unlike the past health authorities in Liberia have on ground a robust team deployed at the various borders with Guinea and Sierra Leone to track suspected Ebola cases coming and leaving Liberia.
He claimed that closing the borders with those countries could worsen the situation because in his words people could secretly enter into the country at one of its many unofficial borders without being noticed by health authorities, something he said could worsen the situation. Nyenswah told the senators that the Ministry of Health of Liberia in partnership with international partners has currently deployed at these borders a team of health practitioners tracking suspected cases.
“In Grand Cape Mount County we have seven official and unofficial crossing points at the border with sierra Leone and we are training health officials and I can safely say to you these kids are working with support from the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization,” Nyenswah stated. He also said like, Bomi similar programs are being carried out at the border between Lofa and Guinea where according to him there are over 33 border crossing points where hand washing and testing with thermometers are being carried out effectively. He confirmed that a lady from Guinea crossed into Liberia showing symptoms of Ebola and she was arrested and sent to the Emergency Treatment Unit (ETU) where she was tested and proven Negative of Ebola.
The Deputy Minister designate told the senate that on a regular basis the government of Liberia received briefing from the World Health Organization on the situation of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone and said towns in Sierra Leone and Guinea closer to Liberia have gone over 15 weeks without reporting new cases.
In the week of June 17 there have been a total of 27, 305 reported confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with 11,169 reported deaths from probable and suspected cases. Liberia was declared Ebola free on May 9 by the World Health Organization but in Guinea and Sierra Leone there are still couple of cases from several districts.