-COVID-19 Cases will experience tremendous increase once more testing is done
Liberia’s already alarming coronavirus infection rate stands to experience further surge once the country begin more testing, especially in the various communities, the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia Dr. Francis Kateh has said.
Speaking at the regular news conference on Monday April 20, 2020 Dr. Kateh said testing is good and will help health workers know exactly how and where they can tackle the killer disease.
“Liberia COVID-19 cases will increase once more testing is done in the Country. And this will help with the national response,” he said.
The CMO said that health authorities have highlighted Central Monrovia and Bushrod Island as Red-Zone (strategic areas of interest) of the COVID-19 outbreak, noting that other places are important too and will be taken into consideration.
Liberia currently has 99 Confirmed cases, eight deaths and seven recoveries. And three of the 15 counties have reported confirmed cases so far: Nimba—2, Grand Kru—1 and and Montserrado—96.
The government and its international partners have since begun urging residents to brace themselves as the Coronavirus ravages across the world and the country.
In a rare public revelation, health authorities last Tuesday made an embarrassing disclosure that an estimated 300 persons who are carriers of the COVID-19 are roaming Monrovia and its environs undetected.
The Director-General designate for the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Dr. Mosoka Fallah, said, “There are about three hundred active Corona-virus carriers who are freely roaming Monrovia and its environs and we need to get them.”
Dr. Fallah further said to break the chain of transmission and beat back the looming danger, the country needs to implement more stringent measures which include a total lock-down, especially the most impacted counties, with no one leaving his or her home.
Such measures, Dr. Fallah said, is necessary to take the virus off the streets and into the communities where they can be contained, traced and isolated.
The NPHIL boss recently disclosed the arrival of 8,000 testing kits that would help in mass and robust testing exercises to be conducted across the country.
He said plans are underway to send out 15,000 health workers in the various communities to identify potential cases, though it remains unclear whether the country does indeed have trained 15,000 health workers with the requisite skills to conduct such a a major exercise.
Dr. Kateh indicated at the Monday press briefing that neighboring Countries are now lauding Liberia for the robust testing process that is ongoing which he noted is now helping in the fight against the COVID-19.
According to statistics, more males across the world have fallen prey to the virus and Liberia is of no exception.
As a result of the increment in cases in Liberia, the Government, Dr. Kateh stressed, is now putting in place new measures to avoid the further spread of the virus.
“Currently movement in specific areas will be taken into considerations,” he noted.
At the same time, he stated that there will be robust approach in targeted communities where they have noticed regular cases are reported.
As efforts to contain the further spread of the virus intensifies in Liberia, about 699 total sample tested have been done and with the predictions of increment of cases due to massive testing, more work still needs to be done as self-protection and observing of all the preventive measures among the people are paramount.
Meanwhile, the frontliners against the COVID are now feeling the pinch of the crisis as they have begun to fall prey to it. Health facilities are beginning to fold up as they are being hit.
Some medical facilities being hit include Jahmale Diagnostics Center at ELWA Junction, Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, Catholic Hospital in Congo Town, Ahmandiyha Clinic in Sinkor and now the John F. Kennedy Medical Center. The headquarters of the National Public Health Institution (NPHIL) was also ordered closed for fumigation purpose after being hit by the virus.