Liberia: Dr. Fallah, Min. Nagbe, COVID-19 Is a Health Crisis, Not A Political Crisis; So, Watch Your Utterances
A QUARANTINE CENTER is never meant to torture anyone. No health expert can dispute this. It should be a place intended to observe a patient, therefore, it must not be a place where the patient would contract any form of illness. This means it must be decent at all times.
THIS IS WHY WE believe that Dr. Mosoka Fallah, Executive Director of the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL) was completely out of order when he said quarantine centers are meant to serve as a deterrent.
“WE KNOW PEOPLE complained of our quarantine centers, but our quarantine centers were not meant to be decent, they were meant to serve as a deterrent,” he said while addressing the press on Thursday.
WE SEE THIS STATEMENT from Dr. Fallah as an affront to the medical profession. Your utterance also has the propensity of making potential suspected cases shying away from quarantine.
AND TO YOU, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, yours is to begin to design awareness messages to help citizens understand the nature of the virus and the mode of transition. Yours is not to issue threats.
DURING THE GOVERNMENT’S first major press conference on COVID-19, Minister Nagbe said, Government of Liberia will arrest anyone who makes a “reckless” public statements to politicize the current coronavirus situation in the country.
“NO MORE FREE TALK—and I dare that individual to come back on the radio and television to give misinformation. If you are crazy, carry your nonsense elsewhere. Politics time will come, but not now. Wait for the October election,” he added.
“TODAY, THE GOVERNMENT has decided to go after anyone who deliberately misinforms the public, no matter whatever branch of government you are in,” he said, adding, “Nobody is above the law. So, speaking foolishly is not free anymore. There will be a consequence of a foolish statement.”
TO THE MEDIA, the Information Minister said: “anyone who grants his or her platform to a crazy person to talk nonsense during this critical time, the person will be equally charged like that crazy person.”
“SO, FOR SMALL-MINDED people who preach politics in the midst of calamity, come and talk nonsense. And to you, the media, don’t encourage crazy people to talk on your radio, let them carry their craziness different place,” Min. Nagbe further said.
These statements coming from the Minister of Information are indeed reckless and would not help the situation.
WHAT IS NEEDED from someone of his position and caliber during this crisis is education and awareness, taking into consideration Liberia’s limitation on education.
ISSUING THREATS because someone has asked that the President be tested for Coronavirus does not in any way prove counterproductive to the fight against the disease.
IF THE NEED ARISES, we would expect the entire nation to demand the President to turn himself to be tested.
THEREFORE, MR. Minister of Information, please give out the information people need to stay safe, not words that tend to create tension in the country.
THESE ARE NO NORMAL TIMES, as has been said by all. Against this background, this is the period when we need one another to be able to deal with this world pandemic which is biting harder by the hour across the world.
WHAT WE SHOULD realize is that the disease is no respecter of persons and, therefore, if you deny your neighbor access to anything you have to protect yourself, you indirectly or directly expose yourself to the disease.
IT IS ALSO INCUMBENT on us as citizens to keep praying at all times and follow the laid down measures, wherever and whenever, for ourselves, our families, the nation and the world, particularly in countries severely hit by the pandemic, because nobody is an island.