MONROVIA (AA) – Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday ordered the lifting of the state of emergency in her country, seven days after it had expired.
The President said she had written for the National Legislature, telling it that she had no intention to of extend the emergency.
The President added that her decision not to extend the state of emergency boiled down to the progress made so far in the fight against Ebola.
“The nation was shaken by this strange and dangerous economy,” the President said. “Amidst the clamor and criticism, we remained calm and undeterred,” she added in an address to the nation.
She said Liberia acted decisively: closing its borders; imposing a curfew; ordering quarantines; closing schools, and restricting public gatherings.
The Liberian President added that the world had responded to Liberian appeals for help, while the country’s citizens acted in line with the government’s policies.
The state of emergency came to an end on November 6 amid expectations by Liberians that the President would not extend it.
The President did this, however, only on Thursday, or a whole week later.
President Sirleaf praised the Liberian people and healthcare workers for their courageous spirit in fighting the disease.
Even with this, she said Liberia could not be declared Ebola-free at present until Guinea and Sierra Leone were also declared free of the disease.
She said all measures would be kept in place with appropriate adjustments in the light of progress in the fight against the disease.
The President, meanwhile, announced the extension of the night-time curfew to mid-night.
She said despite the curfew extension, weekly and border markets were open, but with basic restrictions in keeping measures in place to prevent the spread of Ebola.
The President imposed the state of emergency on August 6 this year across Liberia as part of measures to contain the Ebola virus.
The deadly virus, which has so far been limited largely to West Africa, has claimed a total of 5,160 lives worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released on Wednesday.
The WHO noted that a total of 14,098 people worldwide had contracted the virus to date, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
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