…Says NPHIL, responding to Dr. Nyan’s Assertions
The National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) says its attention has been drawn to an article circulating in both international and local media quoting a Liberian scientist, Dr. Dougbeh Nyan, that many laboratories in the United States have reported trouble with the Corona virus test kits produced by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We are very concerned about the accuracy and other diagnostic characteristics of Corona virus (COVID-19) Test-Kits sent to African countries during this outbreak”, Dr. Nyan asserted.
Dr. Nyan further stated that “African countries using any of these faulty testing kits from the US CDC could be at very high risk of mis-detection and there could be possible spread of the virus in the population if positive cases of Corona virus (COVID-19) infections are missed.
Some test kits presently used in Liberia were supplied by the US CDC to aid in monitoring the Corona virus transmission which has already totaled over 80,000 cases worldwide and killed more than 2,500 people”, a news article quoted Dr. Nyan as saying.
In his reaction to the reports, NPHIL’s Acting Director General, Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah says the institute has not received any test kits from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to test for COVID-19 as being reported by Dr. Nyan.
Dr. Fallah, in a release said that the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) which is under NPHIL has the capacity to test for COVID-19, but the test kits were donated by the World Health Organization (WHO).
He recalled that on March 2, 2020, the World Health Organization supplied 6 kits capable of performing 1000 reactions to test the COVID-19 and that these kits, according to him, meet the highest International Standard as set by the WHO.
Dr. Fallah also noted that the Government of Liberia through the NPHIL and the Ministry of Health (MoH) will continue to step up its preparedness efforts to protect the country against COVID-19.
He further clarified that with the rapid spread of the virus worldwide; Liberia has reported no confirmed case of COVID-19.
He however said there is a heightened surveillance – monitoring at various ports of entry (POEs) and precautionary observation mechanisms are in place as part of preparedness measures.
Dr. Fallah stressed the need for a national concerted effort as Liberia prepares to prevent the country against the vCOVID-19 invasion.
Meanwhile, in the midst of reports of the widespread of the virus across the world, President George M. Weah will on Monday March 9,2020 convene a special cabinet meeting to discuss the enhancement of the current measures that have been put in place to protect Liberians from the deadly corona virus disease which has already infected tens of thousands of people around the world.
President Weah, according to the release from the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism (MICAT) views the threat of a possible transmission of the disease to local population very seriously and therefore wants to elevate discussions about preventing it to the highest level as much as possible.
The release quoted MICAT as saying that the Liberian health authorities, including NPHIL, MoH as well as local and international partners have already taken appropriate steps to safeguard various ports of entry, while educating people on what they can do to avoid contracting the disease is ongoing across the country.
“The cabinet will be examining ways to compliment and further consolidate these measures and strengthen the national resilience mechanisms put in place by the ministry of health and the national public health institute of Liberia, the release, signed by Information Minister, Len Eugene Nagbe said.
The release noted that the special cabinet meeting will explore stronger cooperation with donor partners to source additional national and international resources in a bid to avert any epidemic.
“However, the government reiterates earlier pronouncements from the Health Ministry and NPHIL that Liberia has so far recorded no known case of the disease. Notwithstanding, the public is urged to continue to observe measures aimed at preventing it,” MICAT’s release concluded.