Liberia: We Must Not Allow Negligence Cause Us Our Worst Nightmare In This Covid-19 Fight

THE NUMBER of daily Covid-19 infections in Liberia isn’t in anyway declining and this is troublesome.

ON JULY 1, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) announced 214 new confirmed cases in its daily update. Four new deaths were also reported on July 1. On June 30, NPHIL reported 211 new cases, while on June 9, there were 193 new cases. The previous day, June 28, 106 new cases were recorded by NPHIL.

STATISTICS SEEN by FrontPage Africa reveal that of the 67 weeks of response (as of March 2020), this week accounts for the highest with 25 percent of deaths. Six hundred and eighty-nine (689) new cases were recorded between June 20-26.

As of June 26, 2021, the percentage changes for cases from April 2021 has increased by 119% and 1,382% for May and up to date in June. There were 47 cases in April 2021 that increased to 103 in May and has significantly increased to 1526 in June 2021.

FROM THE STATISTICS, comparing the current positivity peak with the increase of 28.5% in the third wave to the peaks in the previous two waves, the first two was 22.2% for week ending June 24, 2020 while the second wave was 11.5% for week ending November 14, 2020.

THE DATA FURTHER predicted that comparing the three waves, it will take up to 60-90 days to see appreciable progress bending the curve if the recommendations including the wearing of masks, hand washing, social distancing, vaccination, testing, case investigation, contact tracing and contact reporting are followed.

Over the past few weeks, we have observed Liberians owning up to the fight through the wearing of mask and adhering to some health protocols. It is, however, disappointing that drinking spots remain and its patrons remain delinquent – something that has the propensity to rollback efforts in this fight.

HOWEVER, what is now even more disappointing to us is the alleged act by the Deputy Commissioner for Operations at the Liberia Immigration Service, Ms. Abigail N. Wisseh, who reportedly ignored Covid-19 protocol, approved visas for several Turkish nationals – three of whom were later discovered positive of Covid-19.

LET’S NOT FORGET that to date, it is not established how the Delta variant of the virus entered Liberia. The index case had no recent travel history. Logically, the person may have come in contact with a someone had traveled recently.

Now, the mixing up of these infested Turkish with the other staff at Bea Mountain – a Turkish owned gold mining firm in Grand Cape Mount County –  where they had come to work, has led to 25 percent of the company’s staff being positive for Covid-19.

MS. WISSEH failure to adhere to the Covid-19 protocol by issuing visas to the Turkish teaches us how one breach of protocol can massively affect an entire population. This is why testing at the RIA and being vigilant on who enters the country and where travelers are coming from must not be taken lightly. Other countries have already taken stringent measures on flights leaving from Liberia – all in an effort to protect their citizens from the virus.

WE MUST NOT FAIL to realize that the rising number of cases and deaths being reported is simply due to negligence. And very soon, our health system will collapse further from its fragile state.

PEOPLE IN KEY role and individuals playing negligence to the detriment of the population must be paid for it dearly. We cannot afford to slip into the worse form of this pandemic amid our suffocating economy and a health sector that is already in dire straits. Let us all fight this while we still have the chance, else, very soon, we will all be helpless in this fight.

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