As a sign of progress in eradicating Ebola in the country, the Liberian government has dismantled a crematorium in Monrovia, as reported by the Associated Press.
Drums containing ashes of about 3,000 Ebola victims were removed. Previously, Liberia imposed cremation instead of traditional burials to prevent the spread of the deadly epidemic in communities. At that time, cremation became controversial since it was against the country’s traditional burial practices.
Meanwhile, 19 barrels containing remains will be buried on a 25-acre plot cemetery provided by the government.
According to Acting Information Minister Isaac Jackson, religious leaders offered prayer services for the victims coming from different religious groups in the former crematorium on Saturday.
“These activities — these prayers services — are taking place in an effort to accord these people the utmost respect considering the circumstances under which they were cremated and they parted with their families,” Jackson explained.
“We think it is only but proper that we now accord them — the over 3,000 people cremated — respect in a more dignified way.”
Not Over Yet
Last week, Beatrice Yardolo, Liberia’s last known Ebola patient was discharged from a Chinese treatment center in Monrovia.
After the 58-year-old Ebola survivor’s release, the country must not have new Ebola cases for the next 42 days in order to be declared free of Ebola.
However, the battle against the deadly disease is not yet over. Currently, the country is observing 106 people suspected for exposure to Ebola patients.
Speaking to the New York Times, Deputy health minister Tolbert Nyenswah declared that they are not yet done with the fight against Ebola.
“We are still cautioning people. We told them they must still protect their villages, their towns. They should report any suspicion of Ebola to the health teams.”