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ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. GEORGE MANNEH WEAH PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA ON THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN LIBERIA

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ADDRESS TO THE NATION

BY

HIS EXCELLENCY DR. GEORGE MANNEH WEAH

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA

ON THE

CURRENT STATUS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN LIBERIA

THE EXECUTIVE MANSION

CAPITOL HILL

MONROVIA, LIBERIA

8 APRIL 2020

Fellow Citizens and Foreign Residents:

We are all witnessing the devastation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic around the world. Hundreds of thousands of persons around the globe have been infected by it, thousands have died as a result of contracting it, and many more thousands are predicted to die. The disease has overwhelmed more advanced health care systems in many countries, and has brought the economies of several developed nations almost to a complete halt.

The sad reality of millions of victims and thousands of deaths around the world should give all of us cause to pause and think about what we must do collectively to protect ourselves from this dreadful pestilence. The horrific scenarios that are beginning to emerge should serve as sufficient warning for everyone of us to spring into action.

The Government of Liberia continues to work with determination, diligence, and focus, to combat this deadly COVID-19 disease. You will recall that a Special Presidential Advisory Committee on Coronavirus (SPACOC) was established two months ago, under my leadership, as soon as it was perceived that the disease was likely to develop into a global pandemic of epic proportions, that could possibly affect this country.

As Chairman of SPACOC, I have personally presided over many strategy and operational meetings, with the aim and objective of coordinating the fight against the Corona disease in Liberia.

I have also instituted the Executive Committee on Corona Virus (ECOC) as the operational arm of SPACOC that will focus on community initiatives and outreach.

As head of both committees, I am directly involved with the day-to-day activities with our health experts, members of the Cabinet, and our international partners, in order to help mitigate the spread of the virus, at the same time explore ways and means to help ease some of the economic challenges that this virus will cause to our our country and people.

Fellow Liberians:

Although our health teams are working assidously to complete the testing of scores of contacts, we have to 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, and will require much stronger additional measures to delay the spreading of this highly infectious virus, and keep our public safe.

Fellow Liberians:

This global pandemic is killing thousands of people around the world. It knows no borders, and there is yet no vaccination or cure. The global spread of this virus represents the greatest threat to the health and well-being of the people of Liberia since the Ebola epidemic suffered by our country from 2014 to 2016. It has already arrived in Liberia, and confirmed cases are now on the rise.

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 (3) weeks, renewable until the threat to Liberia from the Covid-19 virus no longer exists.

My Fellow Liberians:

As a first step under the powers hereby granted me under this State of Emergency, the Speaker and the President Pro-Tempore are to convene the 54th Legislature in Joint Session on tomorrow, Thursday, the 9th of April, 2020 for justification and endorsement of this State of Emergency by Joint Resolution, in accordance with Article 88 of the Liberian Constitution.

I further announce, under this State of Emergency, that all 15 counties in the Republic of Liberia are hereby quarantined from 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2020, until further notice. movements between counties are sstrictly prohibited. No person shall be permitted to enter or leave or in any way cross the borders of any county into any other county, except for Montserrado County and Margibi County which are quarantined as a single unit.

As a further measure under this State of Emergency, all Liberians and residents within the borders of Montserrado County, Margibi County, Nimba County, and Grand Kru County are to STAY AT HOME for the next 14 days, beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2020.

Throughout this period, residents may leave home only for essential journeys for reasons of health and food, which should be restricted to your local community only, and be limited to a single person per household for a maximum of one hour.

Exceptions shall be made for persons who are designated as essential staff in government of

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