The remains of nearly 3,000 victims of Ebola will be transferred from the Boys Town crematorium to a new cemetery at Disco Hill on the Roberts International Airport highway, one of planned ceremonies by the government to remember people who died of the disease as the country marks Decoration Day on next Wednesday.
The crematorium, owned by the Indian community in Liberia, seemed the final resting place for Ebola victims as the outbreak reached its peak in August and September in 2014.
The Incidence Management System, which heads Liberia’s Ebola response, decided to use the crematorium as a way of controlling the infection rate as the disease spiraled out of control.
Bodies of victims were collected from several Ebola treatment units and from within communities—once they were tested positive—and brought to the crematorium.
As Liberia got a first glimpse of victory in December, cremation of the Ebola victims was halted and a cemetery for Ebola victim established.
Bones and ashes of the victims were placed in barrels awaiting a ceremony where they will be properly interred in keeping with the Liberian culture of respect for the dead.
The ceremony marking the transfer of the remains of the victims is expected to come on at 10 a.m. with an inter-religious prayer service for their departed souls; while another inter-religious ceremony is expected to be held at the Disco Hill cemetery.
Already, about 546 people who died of Ebola have been buried at the Disco Hill cemetery, according to Global Communities, the non-governmental organization working with Liberia on the Ebola response.
This year’s Decoration Day (March 11) is being used by the government to pay tribute to people who lost their lives to the Ebola disease, with another inter-religious prayer service at the Bethel Cathedral Church in Congo Town to be followed by a prayer service at the Center Street Mosque in Monrovia.
It has been exactly a year since Liberia reported the first Ebola case in Foya, Lofa County. Now the disease has ebbed completely, with the discharge of the last known case on Thursday. The country has gone 14 days without reporting a single confirmed case. The picture is even better in Maryland, Sinoe, Grand Kru, River Gee, Grand Gedeh and Lofa, counties that have gone more than 42 days.