— As seven of its health workers test positive for COVID-19
The only referral hospital in Central Liberia, Phebe Hospital, has closed its doors to public after seven health workers tested positive for COVID 19.
Speaking to reporters on Friday 19 June 2020, Bong County Health Officer Dr. Adolphus Yieah said the decision was reached after seven of the health workers have tested positive of the Coronavirus, adding, “we need to fumigate the entire hospital before opening it to the public.”
Dr. Yieah was swift to inform journalists that the hospital would be closed for the next two weeks beginning June 19, 2020 and would not permit additional new patients.
“Those patients that are in the hospital and admitted are the ones we will cater to but, for now, we are not accepting anybody,” Dr. Yieah maintained.
The Daily Observer established that several people seeking treatment for different health conditions are now being disallowed by the hospital and are asked to pursue medication elsewhere until the hospital is decontaminated.
The Bong County Health Officer disclosed to reporters in a well-attended Incident Management System meeting at the Phebe Hospital on Wednesday June 17 that the central government had made available US$18,000 to the Bong County Health Team for COVID-19 response.
The Daily Observer also gathered that Bong County has recorded 20 confirmed cases as of Wednesday June 24, 2020 with four deaths and zero recoveries.
Dr. Yieah indicated that more testing is expected in the coming days for health workers at the hospital, noting that the seven health workers that tested positive for COVID-19 are being treated at the hospital.
Unconfirmed report reaching the Daily Observer revealed that the Medical Director at the Phebe Hospital Dr. Jefferson Sibley has been quarantined at his house as a result of increase in the number of cases and his interaction with some of those health workers who tested positive for the virus.
When contacted via mobile phone, the Medical Director at the Phebe Hospital Dr. Jefferson Sibley established the closure of the hospital to the public but was quick to tell this reporter that only the emergency unit where the seven health workers contracted the disease is closed to the public and would be closed for three or four days.
“We need to disinfect the entire emergency unit before we can open it to the public. The way our health workers are coming down with the COVID 19, it is terrifying. We have to be safe and fight this human killer disease. Remember that three persons died at this very hospital of COVID-19 after their specimen were taken and sent to Monrovia and results proved positive,” Dr. Sibley said.
When the Daily Observer sampled the views of the ordinary citizens on the closure of the hospital to the public, many described the decision as a “death sentence”, adding, the private clinics are not equipped as compared to the hospital and everyone does not have the same economic strength to attend private facilities, so this is a complete “death sentence” for us.
Up to present, there is no treatment unit for COVID-19 patients established at the hospital.