WHO Declares Global Public Health Emergency

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WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Photo credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Amid high threat level of Coronavirus outbreak, NPHIL, LAA deploy thermal scanners at RIA 

The World Health Organization has declared the Coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

Even though there have so far been no confirmed cases reported in Liberia, according to the WHO’s latest situation report on the Coronavirus epidemic, there are 7,818 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus globally, with 7,736 of them in China alone. 1,370 of the confirmed cases are severe and 170 deaths have occurred due to the Coronavirus. Outside of China, there are 82 confirmed cases across 18 countries.

A suspected case discovered in the Ivory Coast earlier this week was yesterday declared negative.

Considering reports of the increase in the number of the cases of Corona Virus in China and other parts of the world, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) in collaboration with the Liberia Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Health have seen the need for Public Health Screening at the Roberts International Airport – as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of virus into Liberia.

Consistent with the above and as the number of cases continue to rise, a set of Digital and Hand Held Thermal Scanners, Temperature Checking Devices, Handwashing Stations, Facial Masks, Isolation Units and related facilities to aid the Screening and surveillance of arriving passengers have been deployed Roberts International Airport.

The Management of NPHIL and LAA has further noted that these public health screening and surveillance procedures which have already commenced at the Airport will continue until the imminent spread and or transmission rate of the CORONA VIRUS is fully contained.

However, the public is encouraged to comply with these public health emergency response procedures to reduce the rate of transmission of the CORONA VIRUS and other communicable diseases in the best interest of the country.

“WHO is monitoring this outbreak every moment of every day,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) at a press briefing on Thursday, January 30. “We share the concern of many people who are worried for their own health and that of their friends and family. The emergence of any new pathogen with the potential to cause severe illness and death is of grave concern and must be taken with utmost seriousness. This is exactly what we are doing. Now more than ever is the time for being guided by the science and making rational, evidence-based decisions. We’re working closely with public health authorities in each of the affected countries to track the spread and virulence of the virus and we’re providing guidance on countermeasures to protect public health.”

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