Liberia closing all schools, government in Ebola crisis

Liberia closing all schools, government in Ebola crisis
Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:57:01

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf late Wednesday ordered all schools closed and put non-essential government workers on leave in added emergency measures to stem the escalating Ebola crisis.

In a nationwide speech, Johnson Sirleaf said the government was providing 5 million dollars to implement the expanded emergency plan to contain the spread of the deadly virus that has claimed nearly 130 lives in Liberia alone.

Throughout the region, including Guinea and Sierra Leone, Ebola has claimed more than 600 lives among more than 1,000 cases.

"Ebola is real. Ebola is contagious. And Ebola kills," Sirleaf said, asking Liberians to do their part in taking extra sanitation measures.

The president declared Friday to be a non-work day for all public facilities, to allow for "disinfection and chlorination" of the buildings.

"All schools are ordered closed pending further directive from the Ministry of Education," she said.

She put all non-essential government workers on 30-day compulsory leave.

Sirleaf ordered closure of all markets at border areas including Foya, Bo Waterside and Ganta, and said price scalping for sanitation products - chlorine, soap, sanitizers and buckets - would be prosecuted by the Ministry of Commerce.

Health agencies are to consider cremating Ebola victims to "avoid tampering with the dead" and contaminating water sources, she said.