Partial View of The Jam Packed Red Light Market Now Partial View of The Jam Packed Red Light Market Now

Battle Against Coronavirus Threatened

 

Few days following the adjustment of the lockdown by President George Manneh Weah from 3pm to 6pm, several Liberians, especially marketers have seemingly forgone basic health protocols, specifically the social distancing.

It could be recalled that recently, President Weah announced an additional two-week extension of restrictions intended to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
 
During the ensuing period, the public is now required to be indoors at 6pm, instead of the previous 3pm. 
 
The President said the easing of measures became necessary in light of the new global reality and the advice of local health authorities.
 
Under the updated guidelines, restaurants, stores selling food commodities, dry goods, building materials and electronic appliances, are allowed to open provided they take in 25% of their full occupancy at a time while observing social distancing.
 
  
At the commercial site of Red Light in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, several marketers, mainly street vendors, who are commonly referred to as “yanna boys/girls”, are completely ignoring social distancing, one of the major health protocols outlined by health authorities in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.


As it has been in time past, the main streets of Red Light remain covered by commercial activities, thus making it continuously difficult for even human and vehicle movements, and this continues to pose serious health threat not only to the people of Red Light or Paynesville, but the entire country at large as the cases are increasing.

“The people at this market are not just adhering to the restrictions and this is bad. This is no joke, this is about the health of everybody and we think the government needs to do something about this, because our numbers are going up rather than coming down. This is alarming,” asserted Madea Simpsons, a resident of Paynesville.

Like Madea, several residents of the city want the government, through the city governments, the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) and the Monrovia City Corporation(MCC) to once again carry out another clear out at various commercial centers, including the Red Light, Water Side and Duala as it was done earlier in a bid to control the movement of the crowds.

Liberia is nearing 300 confirmed cases of the virus within less than three months since the pandemic hit the country on March 16, 2020.

It could be recalled that since the global disease outbreak began in China in December of 2019, but entered Liberia on March 16, 2020, with the first case being thesuspended Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr. Nathaniel Blama.

Also on the March 17, a domestic worker with the suspended EPA boss was recorded as the second case, and while one Linda Russ was recorded as the third case in the same week.

It was predicated upon this that the Government of Liberia (GoL) through relevant authority, including the Ministry of Health(MoH) and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) via coordination and consultation with other public arms instituted several health protocols such as the closure of schools, the suspension of major religious gatherings such as regular worship at churches and mosques and the reduction of regular staff at various work places, especially at government functionaries.

According to the health authorities, the cardinal reasons behind this was to promote social distancing, which somewhat, has proven to be the best solution for prevention of the disease worldwide.

 

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