Local Radio Station Quarantined Over COVID – 19 in Tappita

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Partial view of the Jackson F. Doe Memorial hospital in Tappita, Nimba County

Six staff of a local radio station in Tappita, Lower Nimba County, are now quarantined following confirmation by health authorities that one of the community radio journalists working there, Jeremiah Gayflor, has been tested positive of COVID-19.

This is the second case following a controversial case involving deceased Don Patrick whose family members are yet to concede that their relative died of the virus.  Since some of the family members believed to have been in close contact with the late Patrick were quarantined after the death of their relative, none of them have shown any of the signs associated with COVID-19 but claim they are all well and moving healthily.

The community radio station is the medium through which thousands of residents in Tappita District use to transmit information to the public, but with the report about confirming a COVID-19 case involving one of the community journalists, a clergyman in Tappita, Pastor Charles Miller, told the Daily Observer via mobile phone that nobody is entering the radio station’s compound.

According to Pastor Miller, all they do in the case of any announcement is to make a phone call, but as for now the compound has become a no go zone for the ordinary people.

It is not clear how this reporter contracted this deadly disease, as there has been no report of any connection with any of the index cases, either in Tappita or elsewhere in the county.

According to some citizens in Tappita, the reporter last week visited his home village of Ziah, West of Tappita, and he returned with symptoms of malaria and went to seek medical treatment at the Jackson Fiah Doe Referral Hospital.

Ebenezer Strother, an administrator of JFD, said on one of the local radio stations that after testing Jeremiah, he was sent home and asked not to associate himself with others but be in isolation till the arrival of the specimen taken from him and sent to Monrovia.

When the result arrived after three days, Strother said it was the time Jeremiah was called back at which time he had ignored the advice and mingled with other people in the community.

For failure to keep Jeremiah at the hospital or in isolation till the result arrives, citizens of the district are agitated and planning to take issues with the hospital.

“The hospital should have kept him in the compound until the test result proves him negative before letting him out,” said one Helena Brewer, a resident of Tappita.

“This reporter was allowed to go home and he has gone to radio station, conducted talked show with colleagues and eaten with other people, so it means that the hospital wanted the illness to spread in the community,” another resident of Tappita told this reporter via mobile phone.

Amid the controversy, District #6 Representative Dorwoan Gleekia has asked the citizens to remain calm and abide by all protocols in the fight against Coronavirus.

In the same development, concern is mounting for the government to build a treatment center in Nimba County, so as to treat those, who may come down with the pandemic.”We have been calling on the national government for one testing facility in this hospital to ease the tension with release of testing result,” Administrator Strother said.

How Jeremiah contact this disease remain conflicting, according to one of his colleagues in Tappita, Festus Freezer, but said when Jeremiah visited his home, he came across people from Zortuo, where the man died recently.

But the conflicting part, according to him the wife and close relatives of Don Patrick to show any sign of fever, over two weeks, since his death.

However, Journalist Jeremiah Gayflor has been transferred to the 14 Military Hospital in Monrovia for treatment, where he called and said he was well in his body. Earlier, Jeremiah attempted committing suicide after the news of his being positive hit him.

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