On the occasion of the observance of Liberia’s 173th Independence Day, President George M. Weah has enjoined his fellow citizens to put aside their differences, whether political, religious, or social, and join together to fight the deadly Coronavirus pandemic that is wreaking havoc across the globe.
“We offer our deepest sympathy to the families of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19, and to all those who remain afflicted by the disease, we wish them a full and speedy recovery. My Administration will continue to exert every effort to help mitigate the impact of this pandemic on our people. Our healthcare practitioners have done a remarkable job to keep the disease under control so far, and will continue to do so, even in the face of rising numbers,” President Weah informed the nation when he addressed the nation Monday.
Despite the gloomy socioeconomic specter that COVID-19 is waving across nations, President Weah however expressed hope about Liberia’s situation.
“But it is heartwarming to see that the number of survivors is increasing, which is a testament to the enormous sacrifices of healthcare workers. We cannot thank them enough. They are our heroes!” the Liberian chief executive enthused.
“Under my instructions, they will do all in their powers, with the backing of law enforcement agencies, to ensure strict compliance with the protocols meant to curtail the spread of the disease. These measures apply to all, regardless of status. We must stand together and take responsible actions that protect ourselves and our loved ones,” President Weah promised.
Liberia, President Weah said, has not been spared the ravishes of COVID-19, although, due to the country’s previous experience with the Ebola epidemic and his government’s careful and professional management of the coronavirus, the numbers of infected persons and deaths have been relatively low.
“We declared and enforced appropriate health regulations at the onset of this pestilence, including quarantines, contact tracing and tracking, testing, social distancing, and the washing of hands and wearing of masks. These were later reinforced by the declaration of a State of Emergency and carefully calibrated curfews,” President Weah noted.
These measures, the president said, have resulted in sufficiently satisfactory results to have encouraged the Government to gradually adjust the curfews and recently lift them altogether.
“We have also lifted the State of Emergency, although the country remains under the vigilance of very stringent health emergency regulations,” President Weah said, stressing that, while there is much to be thankful for, the Liberian economy and the Liberian people are still severely affected by the negative consequences of this pandemic.
“Not surprisingly, it has caused a drastic downturn in business activity and a consequent decline in revenue generation, as well as resulted in food shortages, rising inflation, and negative projections of GDP growth, amongst others. There is no doubt that this unfamiliar, deadly, and invisible enemy has changed our lives in no small manner, and will continue to have a negative impact on our well-being and prospects for growth and prosperity in the years to come,” the Liberian chief executive averred.
“That is why we are commemorating this 173rd Anniversary of our Nation’s founding without the usual pomp and pageantry, but in a somber and sober manner. We should all take this occasion as an opportunity to ponder and to reflect upon a realistic, sensible, and united approach to the crisis that we face at this time as a Nation and a People,” he said.
Recalling the role of the entire nation in combating adversities, President Weah extolled the citizenry for their resilience.
“A review of our history will show that we are a resilient people, whose unity, amidst our diversity, has stood the test of time. We continue to live under God’s favor and mercy, despite the many challenges we have faced in the past,” President Weah intoned.
“Yes, today the advent of the coronavirus poses yet another threat to our country and to the well-being of our people. But, in the immortal words of our beloved national anthem: With Heart and Hand, Our Country’s Cause Defending, We’ll Meet The Foe, With Valor Unpretending,” the Liberian leader stated.