Days after being declared Ebola free for the fourth time since a 2013 outbreak in West Africa, normalcy is returning to Liberia.
The declaration marked an end to active transmissions of the deadly virus that has killed over 11,300 people in West Africa.
The country has been under a 90-day period of heightened surveillance since June 9 to ensure that any new cases are identified quickly.
We have the ability to detect if there is s flare-up and we have demonstrated the third time that we have the ability to respond with overwhelming speed.
“I can’t tell you that Ebola will not re-emerge, but what we have demonstrated to the world since the big outbreak that we declared on May 9th – we have the ability to detect if there is s flare-up and we have demonstrated the third time that we have the ability to respond with overwhelming speed. But as long as we have to deal with the reservoir amongst survivors, we think there is likelihood that there could be new flare-ups,” a Monrovia resident said.
Nevertheless, a major challenge in Liberia is a poor healthcare system and the outbreak has left the country more vulnerable.
“We just have to be careful with those that survived Ebola and protect ourselves. Even-though we are free from Ebola, we still have to carry on with the treatments and to wash our hands with soap and chlorides,” Ellen Geepan a Monrovia resident said.
“Many families in Liberia have been victimized concerning this Ebola. We thank God that Liberia is Ebola free. I am so much excited, and my friends, family, and relatives are also happy about it,” said Oscar Harris also from Monrovia.
Despite, being declared Ebola free in January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of possible flare-ups in West Africa. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were the hardest hit nations.
In March, WHO downgraded the health risk of the Ebola virus after nearly two years at the level of a global emergency.