Grand Cape Mount has reported an alarming upsurge of the deadly Ebola virus with 49 new cases registered so far.
The Head of the Incident Management System (IMS) and Assistant Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health, Tolbert Nyenswah, making the disclosure yesterday at the office of IMS in Monrovia, said that of the 49 new cases reported, 27 were confirmed, 13 suspected and 9 probable, putting Cape Mount in the Red County Category second to Montserrado in the country.
Describing it as unfortunate, Minister Nyenswah attributed the increase to migration of people suspected of the virus and the continuous denial by some residents that people are dying of the Ebola epidemic in the country.
According to the Minister, many people are still observing traditional and cultural practices, which undermine the fight against the deadly Ebola virus and stifle efforts made by the IMS and other international and local partners.
“We have people still traditionally preparing the dead body before burial and secret burials are still taking place in the county causing the spread of the virus. We need to desist from these (practices) with the deadly Ebola virus still threatening,” he stressed.
There is a high level of complacency and gross disregard for the preventive measures that were laid down by the Ministry of Health and its partners to contain the spread of the Ebola virus, he said.
Minister Nyenswah reported that people in Cape Mount were not observing constant hand-washing with soap and chlorine solution. He said that they are also keeping sick people in their communities, getting in close personal contact with them and often do not report suspected Ebola cases.
With the alarming number of new cases in the county, the IMS and its partners will open the Ebola Treatment Unit in Sinje and move in with more ambulances and health workers to ensure that the situation is put under control.
“We are also installing new Labs in the next two weeks to have more people tested. We will also carry out a massive mobilization of partners to support the county health team in ensuring the IMS does not have any problem of containing this outbreak in the county,” Minister Nyenswah added.
The Minister disclosed further that the 49 reported cases from Cape Mount have generated over 200 contacts in and outside of the county, which he said needed urgency to contain the situation. He appealed to local residents to work with health practitioners to address the problem.
Monsterrado County remains the hotspot of the Ebola Virus Disease, but the IMS and partners are working to ensure that ‘zero new cases’ is achieved and Liberia is declared Ebola free, he said.
He added that Nimba, which has not reported any case for the past 63 days, has now reported one new case, but the IMS is working to guarantee that all measures are put in place to handle the situation there.
The Minister emphasized that only behavioral change of every Grand Cape Mount citizen and resident will help to stop the spread of the virus, stating that everybody needed to adhere to all the preventive measures to break the transmission of the Ebola disease.