Ex-Consul General Jeety Wants Indians Support Liberian Government’s Travel Ban

Following the government’s ban on travelers coming from India, the immediate past Honorary Consul General to Liberia has called on other Indian nationals living in Liberia to support the decision.

“The primary duty of the Government of Liberia is to protect life and properties of Liberian citizens. If the government sees it fit to ban visitors coming to Liberia, we welcome it. I support it wholeheartedly,” said Upjit Singh Sachdeva (popularly known as Jeety).

“Some people visiting their families in India who are planning to return here will not be able to do so at the moment, but this is in the best interest of all of us living in Liberia.”

As contained in a special address to the nation on Friday by Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, the Liberian government said passengers who have been travelling from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter into Liberia.

The Health Minister reiterated the series of measures already in place such as wearing face masks, washing hands, and social distancing to limit the further spread of the virus.

Dr. Jallah said large gatherings exceeding 20 people were still banned, stressing that sporting events will only be allowed without fans, and the number of people allowed on public transport will be cut down.

“We are advising all our public offices to reduce their staff by 50 percent. We are not saying essential or non-essential, we say reduce your staff by 50 percent,” she stressed.

The Health Minister indicated that learning institutions will be shut down if people are non-compliant to the health guidelines in place on various campuses.

Meanwhile, President George Weah said these new Measures and Protocols are to be strictly observed by all citizens and residents within the country’s borders, and will be rigorously enforced by the security forces, where necessary.

President Weah said the mandate follows a meeting of the Cabinet on the severity and growing situation of the COVID-19 Virus as explained to the Cabinet by the Minister of Health.

The Health Minister informed the Cabinet that hospitals are presently full with people experiencing breathing difficulties, and that there were 50 patients in the treatment unit, 33 of whom were severely ill.

But, President Weah said this is far more alarming than a year ago “when we were experiencing our first wave, and we are told that this new COVID -19 variant is even more deadly than the two previous strains experienced since last March when we got our Index case.”

He added: “I have been made aware of an alarming increase in the number of persons in Liberia who are contracting the new strain of the COVID-19 virus.”

The President had to convene an emergency Cabinet Meeting to review the full scale of this concerning situation, and to seek an appropriate plan of action to be adopted by Government to address this threatening situation.

Pres. Weah encouraged Liberians, saying: “Our Nation has been faced with many dangers and challenges in the past decade, but we have always shown our resilience as a People to stand together, rise up, and gather the will and courage to confront and overcome these dangers and threats.

“I am of the strong conviction that, united in a concerted and collective approach, and backed by the full resources of Government, we will once again prevail over this new pestilence.”

However, Pres. Weah said, “in order to achieve a successful outcome, we must once again take some hard decisions that will curtail some of our everyday freedoms, but always knowing that whatever measures we impose as a Government are for the common good and well-being of us all.”

He also said: “We would like to thank our bilateral and multi-lateral partners for your continued support and partnership in our efforts in fighting this dreadful COVID-19 disease that continues to plague our common world.”

He acknowledged the dedication and resilience of the gallant health workers, especially those on the frontline in the fight against this deadly disease, adding: “Your sacrifices are deeply appreciated by a grateful Nation.”

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