MONROVIA, Montserrado â€“ Following President George Weahâ€™s announcement of the countryâ€™s first Coronavirus case on Monday, March 16, Liberiaâ€™s Information Ministry has announced the closure of all schools in the country.
â€œGiven the confirmation this morning by President George M. Weah and the Special Presidential Committee that on the status COVD-19 in Liberia â€“ that the country has as of Friday, March 13, registered its first case of the disease, the Ministry of Education has hereby mandated that all schools, including institutions of higher learning, shall suspend classes for one week beginning Tuesday, March 17,â€ a press release said.
The ministry said the decision to suspend classes at all schools was necessary to allow health authorities to conduct complete surveillance and tracing of those said to have arrived on the flight along with Blama, including all those who they might have come in contact with.
â€œThis is a proactive measure intended to minimize the spread of the disease,â€ it added.
Schools are expected to reopen on Monday, March 23, subject to further assessment of the situation.
Meanwhile, the president has suspended Nathaniel Blama, the executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency who tested positive for the virus after evading a mandatory quarantine required for travelers to countries with more than 200 cases.
According to the Executive Mansion, President George Weah suspended Blama â€œfor repeatedly violating prescribed health protocols and endangering public health.â€ In addition to Blamaâ€™s suspension, the EPA also said it has suspended its communications specialist, Danise Love Dennis for posting statements on the EPA Facebook page â€œwithout authorization.â€ Those posts contested the presidentâ€™s statement that Blama had evaded a mandatory quarantine when he arrived at the airport.
Featured image courtesy ofÂ USAID