Liberia: 3 New COVID-19 Cases, Death Toll Rises to 3

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Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Liberia's Minister of Health

— Health Minister Jallah reports

The COVID-19 seems to be on the rise with community transmission getting incessant as health authorities on Sunday announced three additional confirmed cases of the virus, two of which were reported dead.  The situation is now creating serious panic within the population with memories of the 2014 Ebola crisis refreshing again.

As of this report, according to Health Minister Dr Wilhelmina Jallah, three persons have died of the virus and the cases have now increased to thirteen.

According to Dr. Jallah, out of the three deaths, one is a foreign national and one is a health care worker respectively.

Addressing the public on State radio on Sunday, April 5, the health Minister disclosed that plans are in the making to train more Lab technicians who will help in the testing process.

“An isolation unit and an organized process are all part of the ongoing plans to ensure the process goes uninterrupted.

She also disclosed that protective gears are in the country and distributions of items will begin to the health workers soon.

Buttressing her statement, Dr. Mosoka Fallah, Director of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), warned Liberians against doubts as well as the violation of the health protocols. He, however, encouraged the public not to panic because the virus is not a death trap. According to him, 80% of those who came in contact with the COVID-19 virus have recovered. He also disclosed that two of the high risk areas are health facilities and homes.

Currently, health authorities say they have done over two hundred tests and have the capacity to do about nine thousand tests all over the country. He encouraged people to as much as possible stay home, abide by the health measures and report cases of people who are sick in their respective communities.

“We are working hard to avoid stigma and will do the test voluntarily,” the health authorities noted, assuring the public that they will inform affected people and the health facilities before pronouncing the necessary information to the public.

On revealing the names of those infected with the Coronavirus, Dr. Jallah added that discussion is ongoing and a possible decision will be reached on whether or not to call names of dead and high risk people and communities affected, respectively, as the final determination will be made public to the Liberian people.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister clarified that the name of the first death is John Yeah, not John Teah.

The ELWA Hospital has also clarified that on April 2 the 72-year old Mr. Yeah was brought to its facility and taken to the emergency room and subsequently to the newly converted Respiratory Treatment Unit for oxygen treatment.

According to a statement issued following the demise of the patient, the Montserrado County Health Team was contacted and with cooperation from NPHIL and the Ministry of Health the patient was tested for Coronavirus infection, but while awaiting the result of the test, the patient expired on April 3, 2020.

As of now, the ELWA Hospital says it has no confirmed case of the COVID-19, and it has constructed a detailed operating plan with separate patient intake procedures and treatment options in preparation of the COVID-19 emergency.

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