MONROVIA–It is clear that the current lock down announcement made by president George Weah to stop the spread of the COVID19, seems not be effective in some parts of the city, especially in the Paynesville area.
Tour taken for two days by this reporter saw many stores open half way, while their owners sit aside and transact businesses.
For instance, at the New Store building, many shop owners were seen sitting nearby while their shops remain open for the sole purpose of carrying out normal business. Even for some, their stores were open to normal size; a situation
Some stores where items such as vehicle spare parts, clothes, slippers and phone are sold were seen open in complete violation of the president’s order.
“This is a very bad. Look here today; as if to say that nothing is going on in this country. Red-light is park. You have to look for place to move as humans are cluster together. This virus will really spread if the government does not come down hard on the sellers in Red light,” a resident, Alexander S. Teah, who went to purchase food items told this paper on Tuesday wearing a face mask.
“We are calling on the authorities of Paynesville City to institute measures to stop this huge movement of people. This is the time for district leaders to show that they are working,” he added.
Another person, identified as Sister Korpu remarked: “Red light is park. Not only here, but also Duport Road; there are some shops that are open and remain open even after the 3 O’clock deadline. I do not see this virus stopping right now if we do not put stop toe the movement of people at a large level.”
“We have human traffic here in Red-light. People are not moving around freely here. But any step, you will come in close contact with over four or five people.”
A police officer who was seen directing traffic said; “my brother, I think we need to come with re enforcement to this place to put people out of the streets and also tell them to stop opening stores and shops.” He added, “many of the people do not care at all. See how traffic is looking like right now; just like there is no sickness in the country. I think tougher measure needs to be taken for this virus to stop spreading.”
The police spokesman, Moses Carter, when contacted on Tuesday, expressed shock at the violation but said, “I am calling on the nearest police commander to move with his men so that things can be put under control. We will not allow any form of violation here. People need to respect and obey the order.
Three weeks ago, president Weah announced state of emergency. Part of it he said: “My fellow Liberians, although our health team is working assiduously to complete the testing of scores of contacts, let us recognize that the COVID-19 virus has now entered a new phase in our country as we move from protection to containment. The dynamics of our management of the disease have been significantly changed there will be required additional strong measures to delay the spreading of this highly infectious virus and keep our public safety,”
“Therefore, by the authority granted to me under Articles 85, 86, 87 and 88 of the Liberian Constitution and after due consultation with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate as required by law, I, George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, hereby, declare a State of Emergency to exist in and throughout the Republic of Liberia for a period of three weeks renewable until the threat to Liberia from the COVID-19 Virus no longer exists.”
He said, under the State of Emergency all 15 counties are quarantined from 11;59pm, Friday, April 10 until further notice.
“Movement between counties is strictly prohibited; no person shall be permitted to enter or leave the borders of any county to another county except for Montserradi County and Margibi County which are quarantined as a single unit.
“Also, all residents within the borders of Montserrado County, Margibi County, Nimba County, and Grand Kru are to stay at home throughout the time of the quarantine.
“Throughout this period, residents may leave home only for essential journeys like reasons of health and food which should be restricted to your local communities only and be limited to a single person per household for a maximum of one hour.”
But as it stands, it is clear that the order is being violated by the day. TNR