LIBERIA: People in Tappita Don’t Believe in the Virus, Fr Castellino Laments

TAPPITA, JUNE 19, 2020 (CISA)-Fr Riccardo Castellino, a Salesian Missionary in Tappita, located in the Liberian Forest, is worried that the people are not convinced that there is Covid-19 in the country, and this has in turn affected their response plan to contain the virus.

“While there have been great gestures of solidarity one of the biggest challenges is a group who has been freeing people from isolation and quarantine because they don’t believe the virus is real.  They believe that the virus is a government ploy to take money and that those who have died were victims of the evil eye. Right now, illiteracy and superstition are much worse than the virus,” he said.

According to a report published on June 16 on their website, Salesian Missionaries have engaged youth to help create awareness about the virus and how to prevent it from the spreading. The country has recorded 383 cases and 31 deaths.

Since the country announced the first case of Covid-19 on March 16 in Monrovia, many people returned to work on their land to survive.

In mitigating the effects of the pandemic, parish groups have also put together resources to support the needy in the community.

On May 8, President George Weah requested churches and mosques to recommence worship services on Sunday, May 17 under strict measures by the government, what was viewed as a risky step likely to cause a surge in infections.

In response to the president’s announcement Archbishop, Rev. Lewis Zeigler asked all Parish Priests, Religious and Laity of the Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia to, “Delay the opening of churches for regular activities till the end of May 2020”.

“This will enable us monitor the reduction in the cases of the Coronavirus pandemic in the Archdiocese. By early June we shall observe and decide how to go forward with the resumption of our church activities,” the archbishop said.

Liberia is still recovering from civil war and the Ebola epidemic that affected 10,678 people with 4,810 reported deaths, according to the World Health Organization.