Liberia: Government Dismisses Family’s Conspiracy Theory Over First Coronavirus Death
Monrovia – Liberia’s minister of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Lenn Eugene Nagbe says the family of the late John G. Teah, the first casualty of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak, should make themselves available to health authorities by cooperating with the quarantine process instead of treading what he described as a dangerous path regarding theories about how Mr. Teah died.
Family members of the late Teah, took matters into their own hands, Saturday by demanding Mr. Teah’s body, contending that he did not die from Corona. The family claim they are puzzled that in the aftermath of Mr. Teah’s death, the National Public Health Institute(NPHIL) tested him and declared him positive.
Some of the family members were arrested and now in the custody of the Liberia National Police.
Mr. Teah, a carpenter in the Maintenance Department of Administration at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, was reportedly admitted to the ELWA Hospital on Wednesday and on Thursday he developed hiccup, until he passed on Friday, a family member, speaking to FrontPageAfrica on condition of anonymity, said Saturday.
The family source said the deceased has a medical history of being a high blood pressure patient. “His pressure went up on Wednesday and we rushed him to the hospital on Wednesday, April 2. He was never a suspect of the virus.”
In a Facebook post Saturday, Mr. Teah’s son, Prince Teah, raised conspiracy theories over his father’s death. “Hello everyone. This is to inform the public that my father John G. Teah, 72, did not die from coronavirus. Please ask the minister how this happened and when he came down with the sickness.”
This is to inform the public that my father John G. Teah, 72, did not die from coronavirus. Please ask the minister how this happened and when he came down with the sickness.”Prince Teah, Son of the Deceased
Contacted Saturday, Minister Nagbe said the denial and resistance by the late John Teah’s family is dangerous. “Those members of the family who came in contact with the deceased have to cooperate with the health authorities; get into quarantine and provide all relevant information about his recent travels and movements. We will have to use force to ensure compliance not just with them, but with all others evading the health team. We are at a critical crossroads in this crisis, if we don’t act decisively to break the chain now, we can expect an exponential, devastating increase. This is behavior unacceptable”.
Mr. Teah’s death marked the first casualty of the pandemic in Liberia. As of Saturday, Liberia had recorded ten confirmed cases. Out of that number, nine are still alive, including one announced recovery, the index case, Dr. Nathanial Blama, head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Police Spokesman Moses Carter confirmed to FrontPageAfrica that the deceased son and others were in police custody. “We have him and others in our care. We have called on the health authorities at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and the Ministry of Health to come and take their samples,” Police Spokesman Carter said.