Liberia: COVID-19 Coronavirus Test Negative for Traveler from Italy; 3rd Victim Still Positive

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Some 71 persons from a beach party and other areas have reportedly been traced since the announcement of a third infection of the deadly Coronavirus in Liberia. Government spokesman, Lenn Eugene Nagbe confirmed to FrontPageAfrica Sunday that Lorraine Mason’s test came back negative and health authorities are exploring other possible options through which Lenda Russ may have been infected.

Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica has reliably learned that COVID-19 Coronovirus test on Ms. Lorraine Mason has come back negative.
Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry Sunday, confirmed that Mason’s test came back negative.

Mason, who returned from Italy on February 28, 2020 and was briefly quarantined at the Kailondo Hotel on the Old Road, was sent home to complete her quarantine. She was released out of the quarantine on March 7, 2020 and attended a beach party where Ms. Lenda Russ, 63, Director of Finance and Administration at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, is believed to have been infected with the virus.

Russ’s son, according to medical notes viewed by FrontPageAfrica told doctors after she was confirmed positive, that his mom had attended a reunion beach party with old classmates on Sunday, March 8, 2020.

Russ has not traveled to Italy – and has not been in close contact with Nathaniel Blama, the first case of Coronavirus in Liberia, raising more questions as to how Ms. Russ may have been infected.

Russ is currently at the 14 Military Hospital off the Robertsfield Highway being treated.

Minister Nagbe said, Russ is still consider positive and authorities at the NPHIL are looking at other means she could have possibly been infected.

The private beach party, FPA has learnt took place in the Marshall area. FrontPageAfrica has learned that some 71 persons from that party have already been traced and are being monitored.

It was there, her son reportedly told doctors that one of his mother’s former classmate, Mason, who had recently returned from Italy, was also in attendance and interacted with his mom.

The son, according to the medical notes, explained that his mother got ill about three days ago with fever, cough, and malaise and decided to come for testing. “The patient does not know if the returnee from Italy is ill with symptoms now. She does not know if other people who attended the party is ill,” a hospital employee with knowledge of the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity said Saturday.

As a result of the third confirmation of the virus in Liberia, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, on Sunday declared a national health emergency in Liberia, declaring both Montserrado County and Margibi counties “infected zones”.

Health Minister Wilhemina Jallah said: “I’ve noticed business as usual. There were many people gathered at wells, people holding hands, hugging, people are crowded in the market. Based on the result of the third case, and the amount of contact, we have no choice, the Liberian government and the President of Liberia, together, after our meeting, we have no choice but to come out with the following directive. In the wake of the Coronavirus epidemic and in an effort to keep our nation safe, the Minister of Health has declared a National Health Emergency in keeping with Title 33, Chapter 14 of the Liberian code of Law, revised, known as the public health law. I, as Minister of Health have designated Montserrado County and Margibi County as infected areas which will remain in effect for the next 21 days.”

The minister said all schools, public and private, universities, computer schools and any other learning institution, are hereby ordered closed. “All bars, nightclubs, casinos, betting centers, cinemas, video clubs, entertainment centers, are hereby ordered closed. All beaches, both private and public are hereby ordered closed. Churches, mosques, religious centers and other places of worship are hereby ordered closed.”

Additionally, large gatherings, to include sporting activities, parties of more than ten people are hereby ordered banned. Weddings, funerals will be allowed with no more than ten people in attendance, and they should keep a distance of six feet apart from each other at all times. Restaurants should only allow five customers at a time. With all customers keeping a distance of six feet apart of each other at all times.

Takeaway are encouraged, cookshops shall only allow five customers at a time. With all customers keeping a distance at all time.”

The order Sunday endured its first hiccup Sunday when Senator Prince Y. Johnson(Nimba) resisted an order from police inspector general Patrick Sudue to close his church Sunday. “The President of Liberia did not give such order and so if you come to the church, the Disciples of Church, come sit down and listen to the word of God. Mr. Director, do not disturb my church,” the Senator told the IG.

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