Blama: “I Am Perfect in Health”

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Nathaniel T. Blama, the suspended Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director who was announced by President George Weah to have returned to the country with the Coronavirus from Switzerland, has told the Daily Observer that he is stable in his health with no concern to worry about.

In a telephone conversation yesterday evening with Mr. Blama, he said he is observing his 14-day quarantine and will subsequently redo his test to see whether or not he will still be a carrier of the virus after the 14 days.

“Right now I am perfect and sound in my health, and I will make sure to redo my test after the 14 days to see whether or not the virus will still be in me. But as I speak to you now, I am perfect in health,” said Mr. Blama.

A couple of Facebook posts suggest that, since he was announced on Monday and taken to the Redemption Hospital to be quarantined, Blama has been in a dark room without electricity.  Responding to this, Blama who said he could not go further into other matters besides his current health condition said: “The information is not true; I am not in darkness.”

Upon announcing that Mr. Blama returned to the country with the virus and refused to go in line with health protocols at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), President George Weah went on to suspend him indefinitely without a sick leave to recover before any decision for what he was alleged to have done.

The suspension came just hours after the President had addressed the nation announcing Mr. Blama as the person who had come with the Covid-19.  Before the suspension, the suspended EPA boss had dispelled that “Misinformation” was circulating about the circumstances surrounding his adherence to health protocols.

According to him in an audio recording, he availed himself for screening at the RIA and the health authorities allowed him to drive himself home.  “I did just as the health authorities told me.  Ask Dr. Kateh, ask Dr. Fallah.  I did not bypass any screening process but did as the health authorities told me to do,” Blama said.

Meanwhile, health authorities have notified the public that Jeremiah Sokan, head of Climate Change Secretariat, who traveled with Blama to Switzerland, has been tested negative of the virus.  According to health authorities, the test was done Tuesday and another set is expected in four days.

Since the announcement, many people in the public have blamed the suspended EPA Executive Director for bringing Coronavirus in the country, while some have recommended for his dismissal for what they regard as an “inhumane” act on his part.

Although he claims to be sound and healthy in his quarantine camp, Blama’s condition could worsen physically and psychologically considering the sentiments of public condemnation he continues to receive.

Some comments gathered from the radio and on vehicles in Monrovia completely demonize him without much consideration for restoration of his health.

As an Environmental official, Nathaniel Blama and one of his deputies left the country a week or two ago for Switzerland to attend a conference on Climate Change, where he reportedly contracted the disease that has killed thousands across Asia, Europe and rapidly spreading in the Americas and Africa.

Most countries in the world have shut their borders and many cities that are well known tourist centers have been abandoned.  European Union countries have shut their borders to outsiders as the virus overwhelms Italy, Spain and member states.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Some people are very stupid. Why would someone tested positive of coronavirus be placed in a dark room without electricity, or dismissed from job? In fact, even here in the West where the virus is based, people are ADVISED not to go for test, but they should rather stay in doors.

  2. Oh Liberians! Why do we treat each other so nasty without considering the wrong involves in our action to our fellow citizen? Why are we so jealous and hateful to each other? Whosoever that had brief president Weah about the situation that had occurred at the airport upon arrival of Mr. Blama and others need to be seriously investigated regarding his functions of briefing the president of our republic. He needs to gather the facts on any story before submitting such to the president. His briefing should never be “They say or hear say” stories.

    Did Mr. Blama actually refused or bye passed protocol set up at the airport upon arrival from Geneva as claimed or alleged? He has mentioned names of officials that instructed him what to do and he said, he did just that. So why will different news, contrary to what had occurred be reaching the desk of president Weah? This virus is not anything to joke with but let’s face the facts and stop destroying others reputation for what ever motive it might be. Look how Mr. Blama has been demonized in public opinion because he tested positive of the deadly virus. Mr. Blama, purposely did not intentionally brought the virus to Liberia as deem by his critics. Infact, he had no idea that he was a carrier of such. This is why misinformation is bad and people need to get the facts about anything before making decision. Don’t destroy another man life in the name of protecting yours. To those that brief president Weah on the daily basis, pls make sure to convey the facts to him, that will enable him take the right decisions, in the interest of every Liberians.

    • Uhmmmm, you spoke my mind in totality…. see how he was treated? Gosh… without any sympathy people just want on insulting and demonizing him….. I really got me thinking deeply about this country….

  3. My problem with this whole saga is this – why did the Government of Liberia allow ANY government official to leave the country to go to Europe for a conference. Europe has been a hotbed for this virus for some time and this conference should have been a teleconference. That being said, Mr. Blama’s health comes first, and he is not to blame for coming back, but rather, the GOL should be blamed for letting officials go to Europe and even returning to Liberia without asking the said countries to quarantine and test theses officials before their return to Liberia.

    • Emmanuel K., MANY other officials, businessmen, and ordinary people travelled and returned WITHOUT getting infected. Even officials who travelled alongside the Head of the EPA returned WITHOUT the virus. So, you need to HAVE A RETHINK . As we communicate, officials of governments and international organizations, multinational firms, etc., are travelling in and out WITHOUT BEING INFECTED BY THE VIRUS.

  4. ”Should I go to the doctor if I have a cough?
    No. In the UK, the medical advice is now that the household of anyone who develops a new persistent cough or high temperature should all stay at home for 14 days, keeping away from other people. This applies to everyone, regardless of whether they have travelled abroad.

    What are the symptoms this coronavirus causes?
    The virus can cause pneumonia-like symptoms. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. In severe cases there can be organ failure. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs we have against flu will not work. Recovery depends on the strength of the immune system. Many of those who have died were already in poor health.

    Another key unknown is how contagious the coronavirus is. A crucial difference is that unlike flu, there is no vaccine for the new coronavirus, which means it is more difficult for vulnerable members of the population – elderly people or those with existing respiratory or immune problems – to protect themselves. Hand-washing and avoiding other people if you feel unwell are important. One sensible step is to get the flu vaccine, which will reduce the burden on health services if the outbreak turns into a wider epidemic.”

    CULLED FROM THE GUARDIAN

  5. Dear Daily Observer,

    Thank you for getting Mr. BLAMA’s side of the story. This indeed, is professional journalism.

    After listening to the president’s declaration and reading BLAMA’s version of the story, the following firsthand conclusions can be reached:

    – I still want to believe that the president of the Republic of Liberia has the best intelligence at his disposal to make informed decisions. I do not want to believe he made the decision concerning the suspension of the Mr. BLAMA without enough information. However, if it turns out that Mr. BLAMA’s version of the story is correct, to the point of even citing the medical doctors who tested him as witnesses, then the president owes Mr. BLAMA and family and the Liberian people a public apology.
    – Mr. BLAMA did not make mention of his refusal to board the ambulance when the medical team went to get him. Is it intentional to get public sympathy or forgot to mention it? In any case, I still believe the president did not just listen to his inner circle but the medical team in the field as well.
    – If Mr. BLAMA underwent the test and was tested negative, and then later found positive, Liberians should be worried for public health hazard. It means our defense against the COVID-19 is not sufficiently buttressed. We need help from neighboring countries.

    In sum, our people have been exposed by pompous and uncouth government officials. May God protect our people.

  6. Nat should have kept his butt on the motherland and his name would not have been the epic center of the brouhaha of the corona virus infection in this sweet land of Liberty

  7. Liberia is not a developed country. In order for Corvid-19 to be contained and defeated in a poor undeveloped country such as ours, every Liberian or non-Liberian who enters the country from abroad must submit to a test. The driver, Mr. Johnny Phillips didn’t know he was infected until he took the test. Many people may say they are well and healthy, but that doesn’t mean anything. Whether you are a super rich man or woman, please take the test upon arrival in the country. By being tested, your wealth will not vanish. No excuses please. Take the test!

    Peace

    • Good point. Follow the rules or get out. Those who don’t follow the rules should be punished even with jail sentences. If the minister is too dumb to understand, SACK HIM. AND PUNISH HIM AS WELL. FOR THE GOOD OF ALL.

  8. In the midst of all of this, let’s stop the blame game and pray for our brother and all those that are being quarantine. God want us to forgive and pray for each other. One thing that will make you come out of this Nat, is to keep a healthy mind set. Leave the public opinion and focus on your health, for now nothing you say will make people believe you. Wish you speedy recovery and keep the faith. Psalms 91 is upon your life, remember to testify the goodness of God.

  9. No need to blame Nat, he didn’t act on his own. He was doing our job and we have to support him in the fight. Speedily recovery honorable Director.

  10. The National Public Health Institute of Liberia didn’t have adequate capacity at RIA resulting in the arriving EPA boss not properly tested and quarantined. And according to its own statement, the case caused 127 contacts; 23 high risks and 104 low risks. Lacking capacity (for example, proper testing or analytical tools) is different from incompetence. However, using damage control narratives to cover-up such inadequacy exposed the nation to danger.

    Dr Blama arrived on March 13, and probably suspecting the symptoms offered himself for testing. Whatever NPHIL did at RIA wasn’t conclusive, thus they allowed him to leave. Supposedly on March 14, he had fever, started coughing, and on March 15 sought over-the-counter medication at Lucky Pharmacy on 22rd St Sinkor. After three days of Blama’s arrival, NPHIL announced:

    “The positive test result was received at 3 AM on March 16, 2020. This is the first confirmed to be reported in Liberia since the beginning of the pandemic in China in December 2019. Within 12 hours, the case-patient had been isolated, contact identification, listing, and monitoring commenced, and National Public Health Emergency Declared and WHO notified”.

    Once again, the lackadaisical attitude of government officials given grave responsibilities is displayed, and, worse, compounded by shameful lying. Dr Blama insisted on testing upon arrival, because he suspected his symptoms were virus-related. Faced with that situation, either Health Institute officials or himself should have decided on self-quarantine. This boneheaded bungling by those who ought to no better reminds how our country was decimated by an anticipated and preventable civil war: We can do better.

  11. But then Mr. Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses, why is it that we are seeing a headline from FrontPageAfrica ”Who Mislead the President?”?

  12. But then Mr. Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses, why is it that we are seeing a headline from FrontPageAfrica ”Who MISLED the President?”?

  13. I do not know Nat personally, but I pray that he recovers.. Demonizing and spewing insults at this young man when he needs every ounce of support is definitely the wrong thing to do.

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