Liberia: NPHIL Boss Came in Close Contact with Staff Confirmed for COVID-19
MONROVIA – A staff of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Mr. Benjamin Soko, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, April 10 was in very close contact with Dr. Mosoka Fallah, head of NPHIL five days prior to his testing.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
Mr. Soko on April 5 posted to Facebook a picture of he and Dr. Fallah sitting very close together without any observance to the social distancing rule introduced by NPHIL and the Ministry of Health.
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. This include Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people, not gathering in groups and staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings.
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.
Efforts applied to get comments from Dr. Fallah did not materialize as he failed to reply to in an inquiry SMS
However, an NPHIL internal memo shared via email and obtained by FrontPageAfrica informed all of its staff that the IPC team under Mr. Philip Bemah will be conducting a risk assessment. All staff working in the response will be contacted by on Wednesday (today) to begin risk assessment. High-risk contacts will be sent to do their COVID-19 laboratory test.
The memo also confirmed FrontPageAfrica’s publication that Mr. Soko provided a fake name, Benjamin C. Tokofo, to lab technicians when he went for testing. As a result, it took the administration two days to find out his true identity after his test came out positive.