ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. GEORGE MANNEH WEAH PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA ON THE CURRENT NEW WAVE OF A NEW VARIANT OF THE COVID-19 DISEASE
JUNE 17, 2021
MY FELLOW CITIZENS:
I have been made aware of an alarming increase in the number of persons in Liberia who are contracting a new strain of the COVID-19 virus.
Accordingly, I have today convened 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.
The Minister of Health presented the meeting with detailed statistics to give us a full awareness of the seriousness and aggressiveness of this new variant of the Covid-19 virus,, and the impact that it has begun to have in Liberia.
According to the Minister of Health, Liberia has to date confirmed 2,862 cases of the Covid-19 virus, with 95 confirmed deaths and 12 suspected. However, it is alarming to note that since the Third Wave began, from the 16th of May, to Tuesday, June 15, there has been a peak of 256 cases. The Minister informed the Cabinet that hospitals are presently full with people experiencing breathing difficulties, and that there are 50 patients in the treatment unit, 33 of whom are severely ill. Meanwhile, there are only 67,437 persons in Liberia who have taken one dose of the vaccine.
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.
MY FELLOW CITIZENS:
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, 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.
I have therefore mandated the Ministers of Health and Justice to immediately formulate new regulations and protocols that will assist in curbing the spread of this deadly disease.
These new Measures and Protocols, when announced within the next twenty-four hours, are to be strictly observed by all citizens and residents within our borders, and will be rigorously enforced by the security forces, where necessary.
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.
Finally, my Fellow Citizens, let me acknowledge the dedication and resilience of our gallant health workers, especially those on the frontline in the fight against this deadly disease. Your sacrifices are deeply appreciated by a grateful Nation.
I thank you.