Liberia: COVID-19 Spreading out of Control

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Dr. Mosoka Fallah, Director General, NPHIL

NPHIL official, 300 others carrying the virus, as Dr. Fallah makes rare public revelation, calls for more rigid measures to contain the disease

For those Liberians who thought that the Ebola outbreak that hit the country four years ago was devastating, they need to rethink and brace themselves for the Coronavirus if the information coming out of the National Public Health Institution of Liberia is anything to go by.

In a rare public revelation, health authorities on Tuesday made an embarrassing disclosure that an estimated 300 persons who are carriers of the COVID-19 are roaming Monrovia and its environs undetected.

According to Dr. Mosoka Fallah, Liberia’s chief infectious disease officer, the country has “about three hundred active Coronavirus carriers who are freely roaming Monrovia and its environs.

This rare admission from Dr. Mosoka Fallah, who is the Director-General for the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and other health authorities contradicts previous claims that it has the outbreak under control.

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 lockdown, especially the most impacted counties, with no one leaving 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.

“There is a need for total lockdown where nobody is to leave his/her home. We have to take a very hard decision to save this country now. People need to be kept in their homes without leaving. We have to do that as a government if we are to have a chance against the virus,” he said.

Dr. Mosoka Fallah’s call for a total lockdown of the country comes barely a week after President Weah announced a State of Emergency, banning residents from leaving their homes except for essential reasons of health and food, which should be restricted to local communities only, and be limited to a single person per household for a maximum of one hour.

However, such measures are not adequately enforced by state security officers as public transport is still running, people are still moving around, not wearing masks, having gatherings in Monrovia and its environs until 3:00 p.m. — the deadline by which people should have been off the streets.

NPHIL Headquarters Closed

Meanwhile, Dr. Fallah has disclosed that at NPHIL, they have found themselves in dire straits after Benjamin Soko one of the institutions senior-level staff came down with the virus.

Dr. Fallah added the situation could lead to spillovers in the entity, thereby substantially impacting their fight against the virus.

“This is why we decided to shut down the entity completely and have it fumigated and have now embarked upon a robust contact tracing exercise. The situation is worrisome because it has created total uneasiness among staff and may impact their ability to work with passion.

In addition, he said the issue of Soko who deceptively did his COVID-19 test under a different name at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex testing center, has dampened morale of the entity, demoralizing many of its staff that should be leading the national response effort against the virus as many of its technicians have been reportedly placed in isolation for observation—and it is a huge blow to a nation that already has a struggling health sector that is faced with serious challenges.

In a related development, the NPHIL boss has disclosed a plan to send out 15,000 health workers in the various communities to identify potential cases. It, however, remains unclear whether the country does indeed have trained 15,000 health workers with the requisite skills to conduct such an exercise.

Dr. Fallah also said, “8,000 testing kits have arrived in the country and would help in mass and robust testing exercises to be conducted across the country.”

11 COMMENTS

  1. The NPHIL must be taken seriously by the citizens of Liberia. The NPHIL warns the citizens of Liberia to be very careful according to how people go about their daily routine. I think the warning ought to be taken seriously.

    Heaven helps those who help themselves.
    In this foregoing phrase, the word “heaven” obviously refers to God our Almighty creator. Yes, God helps those who make the attempt to help themselves. For instance, one cannot expect to pass an algebra test without studying. I have said all of that because it seems to me that “some” Liberian people (not all of them) believe nothing will happen regardless of how dangerous people say Covid-19 is. I think the people of Liberia who don’t care or who think less about Covid-19, should change their mindset.

    Public transportation runs everyday in Liberia. I understand people have to eat and make some money. The saddest thing that happens is this…..bus and taxi drivers jam passengers up in their cars without thinking about whether someone could be carrying the deadly virus. The second most important issue is whether the vehicles that people do business with are sprayed or cleaned with soap and lime water. Motorcyclists and Keke drivers do their business without proper monitoring. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the deadly Corvid-19 spreads dangerously. Jamming people up on a bus or in a taxicab should be stopped.

    Bottom Line:
    In order for the heavens to help, we must help ourselves first.

  2. Healthcare workers going into communities must test negative, or they will become carriers. In my opinion, the staff that tested positive under an assumed name should be suspended or fired. He did not set a good example for others to follow. What if there is a Liberian with the name that he assumed? What happens to that Liberian? LIB please!

  3. Give all citizens two-weeks to purchase all their emergency supplies: food, medicines and water. After that, then you can have a total locked down.
    Only the police, Fire service and Militry Police should enforce this total locked down. It should not stop people from sitting in their yards.

  4. Total locked down?!..,
    Then how will we survive then?
    No electricity and food home. For crying out loud. Those countries you see doing total lockdown have putting everything in other for their citizens. Why will Liberia always be the same.Try and do something Mr President. Enough money Is in the country to help us! Help! And stop being greedy!!. 😭😭

  5. Lockdown and social distancing is great, including having the needed testing kits. I did not hear director Dr. Mosoka Fallah mentioning simple things, like how citizens can improvised by simply making their own personal mask; which is common sense advise, that which should be coming from someone of his caliber in this article.

  6. I do agreed with Dr. Fallah, a total lockdown for 3 weeks is necessary. We.need to make this ultimate sacrifice to save our country.

  7. I totally agree with Dr. Fallah for a complete or total lockdown of affected counties and Partial lockdown in other counties for not less than 14days in other to contain the virus.

  8. We sit and see numbers(cases) increasingly on a daily basis yet we are slow to react, and that’s how this thing is gonna get out of control. This pronouncement by the health expert should be taken seriously. We can’t continue clustering in the name of 3pm curfew. The best thing we can do in order to win this war is to stay home, don’t be in the streets. Stay away from your neighbor’s home. Strictly observe this SOCIAL DISTANCE. A designated family member should go out for essentials. Strict hygiene standards should be maintained at all times. This is not the time to be playing checkers and ludo in the community. That’s a good breeding ground for the virus 🦠. If not for yourselves, do it for your loved ones and those that love you. Desperate times require desperate measures.

  9. Everything said here on how we can safeguard our lives is true. Social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks are all good measures to help curb this madness. But it saddens me to say that some of us, indeed plenty of us, are still not taking this malady as seriously as we should.

    Go to the markets and see how jammed pack it is. Yes, it is true that we need to eat and get our basic necessities, but the crowd can be just too much.. I drove my mom to the Red Light market on Friday morning and, oh my goodness, the sheer size of the crowd was short of amazing.

    What should we do?

    Hope you and your families are all safe Uncle Aaron, Uncle Hney and uncle Dolo.

    Peace

  10. Miss Anita Willis,
    Please note that a lockdown is not the same as a lockup. When a person is locked up, she or he is put in a detention area, let’s say like a jail. A lockdown is for purposes of prevention. In this case, a lockdown is necessary because Covid-19 spreads rapidly than wildfire. Liberia’s working class cannot afford to be decimated by Covid-19! In other for the people of Liberia to be spared the wrath of Covid-19, it’s of utmost importance for the people of Liberia to cooperate. Lastly, in a two-week lockdown situation, you and your relatives can slip out of your house to buy some food from the market. But, while out there, keep a distance of 6 feet away from people.

    Miss Willis, America is a great country. But one has to work hard in order to make it! However, as great as this country is, over 17,000 people have died so far because of Covid-19. Also, more than 7 million people have lost their jobs. The US economy is not doing do well. What’s about Liberia? If the Liberian people do not cooperate in terms of social distancing and staying home for a short period of time, our situation could get dangerously out of hand.

    For purposes of being protected, I beg you and your friends and family, spend your last Liberty dollar by buying plenty cassava, eddoes,, oil, chicken soup cubes, pepper, your salt (too much salt causes blood pressure to rise, be careful) your rice, your mosquito coil, vegetables, kerocene for your lanterns and don’t forget to buy coal. Also, buy some ginger, headache medicine (just in case during the lockdown, someone in your household gets sick) and garlic to fight Covid-19. Let’s not argue. Spend your last penny in order to be safe.

    May God bless you and your family.

    Peace

  11. Its just not going to be anywhere closer to having control of this virus in Liberia. What I foresee, the governing system is likely going to breakdown and people will fight for themselves. No food, no electricity and no allocation for community centers where people can go and get basic necessities. A total lockdown wouldn’t work. Government would have work out a system of supply chain. As I have been warning on my facebook page from China, this is the time for government to sent out all the messages of unity and stop its political attacks of their opponents as I see everyday on facebook. It seems to me that most Liberians don’t actually know the true nature of COVID-19 up to now. The cases are increasing and this time not many health workers will take the risks because most of them are not ensured by government don’t have the support for their family.

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