MONROVIA, March 27 (LINA) – Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah has said there is no new case of coronavirus in Liberia, adding that all three confirmed cases remain stable clinically.
The Liberian Health Minister stated that globally, there are over 468,000 cases of coronavirus in 198 countries and territories of which the Republic of Ivory Coast, which shares border with Liberia, has 80 cases, followed by another close neighbor, the Republic of Guinea, with four cases.
Speaking Thursday during a joint update press briefing at the Ministry of Health in Monrovia, Minister Jallah stated that with those numbers coming from close neighbours, there is no need for Liberians to be complacent in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ivory Coast has 80 cases, Guinea has four cases and Liberia still stands at three. But that does not mean we should put our guards down and relax. Nobody knows how this disease progresses because people are still studying. So there is no reason for us to think that everything is ok and continue with business as usual,” Dr. Jallah cautioned Liberians.
She called on the citizenry to continue listening to the right information in the fight against the virus that has plunged great nations’ economies into recession.
However, the Health Minister disclosed that the Ministry has cancel administering routine vaccines to children at their homes and in public places because of the current health crisis in the country.
She indicated that routine vaccines such as measles, polio, BCG, amongst others, will be given only in health facilities as a result of the misunderstandings in the public space.
“That campaign ends and we will only be giving those vaccines at various health facilities, so if anybody comes to your neighborhood and say they are from the Ministry of Health do not agree, go to your health facility and continue your routine vaccination,” Dr. Jallah stressed.
Also, the MOH boss revealed that the health authority in Liberia is in contact with the five members of the House of Representatives that recently returned to Liberia through the Ivory Coast from Ghana.
“We want to say that we are in contact with all five of them,” Dr. Jallah told the press conference.
She clarified that the reason why those lawmakers were not placed in quarantine upon their arrival is because Ghana was not on the list of countries that health workers were supposed to quarantine people coming from to Liberia.
According to Dr. Jallah, those Representatives were asked to do self-quarantine which they all have adhered to, and they are being monitored by health authorities.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Kateh told journalists that 390 contacts of the three confirmed cases are undergoing thorough observation, including 40 health workers who came in contact with the three confirmed cases.
He stated that the Joint Health Team is presently running 11 Precautionary Centers (POC) across Liberia.
Kateh discouraged people from wearing precautionary masks perpetually in public areas, citing “If you keep the mask in your nose for 24 hours you are breathing and moisture within it which forms a medium for the attraction of bacteria.”
“So please if you are in a congested area or you know you are going into a crowded place or a dusty area then you can wear it but not for 24 hours. We know you want to be cautious but you also have to be cautiously careful before we get ourselves into another bigger problem,” Dr. Kateh pleaded.
He explained that Liberia is now in a period referred to as a ‘window of opportunity’ where all of the precautionary measures need to be adhered to so that the virus is defeated.
For his part, the Deputy Inspector of the Liberia National Police, Col. Marvin Sackor stated that all health regulations announced by the joint team remain in full swing.
“Until otherwise ordered, all regulations in regard to the public health regulation remain enforced, and so far, nothing has changed,” Col. Sackor emphasized.
He called on the public to make the work of the police easier by adhering to all of the health regulations released by the health authorities or risk arrest.
Col. Sackor stressed that the work of the police is to enforce the laws of Liberia in order to save lives and property across the country.
Sackor extolled the Liberia Marketing Association for its full support in ensuring that the various markets are decongested in the wake of the fight against deadly coronavirus.
He called on filling stations and vehicle operators to abide by all of the National Public Health Emergency Regulations announced by the health authorities, especially the social distancing.