MOH, IMS Launch Union Sample Collection Center

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L-R Dr. Jallah, Minister of Health, and Dr. Julius WHO represetative in full attandence during the launch of the Union Sample Collection Center

The Ministry of Health (MOH) through the Incident Management System (IMS) and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia has launched the “Union Sample Collection Center.” The Union Sample Collection Center was established by the government through the Incident Management system (IMS). It is a system designed to facilitate the testing process of all travelers. 

Speaking at the launch of the event, IMS Lead Coordinator, Abraham Nyenswah informed the gathering that the new COVID-19 testing center and protocols are for travelers intending to depart or arrive in the county, as it steps up efforts to prevent further local transmission of the Coronavirus disease in Liberia.

He indicated that during the past two weeks, travelers have been going to the Union Sample Collection Center in Congo Town to go through their test and they have gone through the guidelines and procedures to be able to have their specimen collected as well as have their results in 72 hours.

According to him, all travelers are to download and complete a Health Screening Arrival Form from the Liberia Travel Application App on either Google Play store or the Apple Store link to access the form.

“As of today, December 1, 2020, all travelers will be required to pay a fee of US$75.00 as testing fee in order to have their samples taken.”  He said it is mandatory that all incoming and outgoing travelers are tested for the disease.”

These measures, according to Mr. Nyenswah, also require the travelers to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result from an accredited lab within 96 hours of testing.

He further encouraged travelers to go on the Ministry’s online system and register all of their personal information including travel details as well as passport numbers and then make a payment of US$75 at the UBA as a designated bank.

Meanwhile, the new drive follows the latest increase in transmission in other countries, which is referred to as the ‘second wave.’ The Government of Liberia has now taken proactive steps to ensure that the new rate of spread does not adopt normal activities as it was during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said the new traveler’s protocols released on Monday, November 23, 2020, makes it mandatory for all travelers to complete a symptom tracker form, the wearing of a mask (including for those in transit and arriving).

Minister Jallah said travelers who test PCR positive for COVID-19 will undergo treatment based on Liberia’s case management guidelines while travelers who test negative are to self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms via the Liberia Travel App for a period of 14 days, start the day after their arrival in the Country.

Dr. Monday Julius, a representative from Health Emergency Department at World Health Organization (WHO), said as an international organization, it appreciates the government’s efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia.   

Dr. Julius noted that a lot has been achieved despite the numerous challenges which include limited resources to address key response activities; “We want to thank the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health.”

He further stressed that while it is true that there has been a lot of achievements, it is also important to note that the pandemic is far from getting over; this is the truth that we need to know and accept.

Dr. Julius added that the situation is not getting better when countries around the world are fighting to ensure that the virus is eradicated. According to him, things are even getting worse because cases continue to increase daily. “For the Month of November 2020, the average of five hundred thousand cases was reported to the WHO on a daily basis. This is not favourable for everyone and until we shall all be safe nobody is safe,” he stated.   

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