NEW YORK – According to a report published in Africa, Liberians in America are closing their doors to relatives and friends entering the U.S. from Liberia after Thomas Eric Duncan returned from the Ebola-stricken nation and developed the disease while staying with relatives in Dallas.
GNN Liberia documented that U.S.-based Liberians are refusing to make their homes available, deciding instead to provide visiting Liberians with hotel accommodations for 21 days, the maximum incubation period epidemiologists believe are needed for an Ebola-infected person to exhibit symptoms of the disease.
"We are in solidarity with the people of Liberia for those of our families that are returning," the wife of a Liberian pastor whose husband returned to the United States from Liberia told a GNN Liberia reporter, "[but] we are setting these barriers to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to Liberian communities in the United States."
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An unnamed official of the Liberian community in the United States told GNN Liberia that the action by Liberian families was done on individual bases but was not a directive by the community leadership.
He said the decision by families whose relatives are returning from Liberia is intended to reduce the potential of returnees unknowingly coming with the virus without symptoms and putting the lives of the rest of their families in danger.
The official, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said the Ebola outbreak in Liberia requires nationals from the affected countries in the diaspora to become proactive by ensuring that people returning from these "hazardous" countries seek testing for the virus immediately before accommodating them in their respective homes or communities.
GNN Liberia concluded the article by noting the hotel-stay requirement being imposed by Liberians residing in the United States is creating a financial hardship for Liberians visiting here because the cost of a hotel for three weeks has to be added to the already high cost of an international trip from Liberia to the United States.