This Sunday was special for the people in Liberia. Drumbeats kept on echoing in all corners of Monrovia, the capital city of the country, as Christian leaders listened to the president’s call for celebrating end of the deadly Ebola virus in the nation. For those who don’t know: Liberia experienced an alarming outbreak of the virus that claimed over 4,700 lives in the country.
The congregation at the Pentecostal church New Covenant Outreach Ministries Incorporated was led by choir chief Ester Tamba. People gathering at the church celebrated 42 days of no new Ebola cases by offering a standing ovation.
The number 42 is important as it is exactly double of the maximum incubation period for the deadly disease; 42 days of zero Ebola cases means that the outbreak has officially come to an end. This occasion was special for the worshippers also because for the first time in the last one year, they didn’t need to get their temperatures checked before getting into the church.
However, there are certain things that are still carrying signs of the terrible time the country had during the past one year.
Last year, following the detection of a few Ebola cases in the country, the church decided to stop the traditional round of handshakes and hugs at the end of its Sunday service. It was a step taken to prevent further spreading of the virus.
In spite of getting the official confirmation of eradication of Ebola form the country, the church has not yet reinstated this traditional Sunday event. Reverend Venicious Reeves, when questioned about this decision of the church, said that he is not in any rush for resuming the event.
He said that although the church is against discouraging the tradition, it is not looking to take a quick decision about reintroduction of those practices. For now, the church is looking to take some hygienic measures.
Pres. Ellen J. Sirleaf visited the health centers last Saturday for praising the efforts of the healthcare practitioners. An official celebration by the government is scheduled to be held on Monday.