Liberia has so far recorded three cases of the virus, as the world grapples with this "enemy" since it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The global death toll from the virus has topped 10,000.
According to Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, the move which will remain in place for 21 days, however exempts cargo, chartered and special flights.
She said in a radio broadcast Sunday, that: “Except for cargo, chartered and special flights, all commercial flights are hereby ordered suspended as of Monday, March 22, at 11:59 p.m."
By this measure, the Health Ministry invokes Title 33, Chapter 14 of the Public Health Law of Liberia as a legal backing.
Titled: “Formidable Epidemic, Endemic or Infectious Disease,” as provided by said Chapter, the Government believes bringing the Law into effect at this juncture is in the right direction as far as the
country’s effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus is concerned.
Minister Jallah further made it known that the Ministry of Transport and the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority will issue the appropriate notice to all actors in the transport sector.
Recently, the Ministry of Transport and the Police instituted precautionary measures by ordering vehicle owners to cut down the number of passengers they previously took on board their vehicles.
The new measures suggest that there be only three passengers in the back seat and one in the front of a taxi; two passengers at the back of tricycle; one passenger on motorbikes and four persons on each long seat of an 18-seater bus aimed at ensuring social distancing.
The police, since the issuance of the new health security protocols, have been carrying on rigorous enforcement in all parts of the capital and highways.