Liberia Health Authority Monitoring ‘Alert’ Coronavirus Case; Says No Case in Country
Monrovia – The Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute have announced that they are currently monitoring an “alert” case of the Coronavirus involving a man who recently returned to Liberia from Beijing, China.
“We got an alert, thanks to the cooperation from our team at the airport; a Liberian returning from China was picked last night at the airport…, he was sick and could walk and when they realized that he was from Beijing, China, he got picked up and team took him in the ambulance,” explains Dr. Mosoka Fallah, acting Director General of NPHIL.
The man arrived in Liberia via an Ethiopia Airway, which made a transit in Ghana, where he was tested and proved negative of the Coronavirus.
Dr. Fallah said another specimen of the “alert case” has been taken, sent out of the country and the result is expected back within the next couple of days. Dr. Fallah added that the patient is being monitored.
“However, we’ve been following up with the nurses and doctors that have been training him – he has no fever, no cough,” Dr. Fallah said of the condition of the patient while addressing journalists on Tuesday at NPHIL headquarters in Congo Town.
“So, we are considering this an alert case; we are not calling it a suspected case; we want the public to be aware.”
Currently, the country has no capacity to conduct actual testing of Coronavirus cases in the country. This puts Liberia on the second line of capacity of reagent capacity, according to Dr. Fallah.
“We got an alert, thanks to the cooperation from our team at the airport; a Liberian returning from China was picked last night at the airport…, he was sick and could walk and when they realized that he was from Beijing, China, he got picked up and team took him in the ambulance”– Dr. Mosoka Fallah, Acting Director General of NPHIL.
“What we have gotten so far from the WHO is the reagent to collect the swap but then through a whole courier system setup by WHO Afro, the swap gets pick up through a swap system and goes to one of four countries from us – Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal,” Dr. Fallah explained.
The NPHIL boss expressed concern that the person with the alert case used laissez passer to enter the country, which he most likely obtained while in Ghana.
He stressed the importance of the government putting a halt to issuing laissez passer.
FrontPageAfrica recently reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently suspended the issuance of laissez passer by embassies and consulates even though the ministry has denied making such regulation.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fallah has hailed the collaboration of all government ministries and agencies in the efforts to prevent the virus from entering the country, adding that the “public too is working in our favor”.
“So far, the Ministry of Finance has been very cooperative; we have received some of the money we have asked for – enough to make sure that those who are working are compensated on a low skill and also to pay some of the debts we have accumulated in terms of the observation center,” said Health Minister Whilemina Jallah.
Minister Jallah thanked the Armed Forces of Liberia for being “very corporative” by working to revitalize an isolation center on the Bushrold Island, which will be preserved for suspected cases as part of the country’s preventive mechanism.
There are now more than 42,200 confirmed cases of the virus across China. So far over 1,016 people have died from the virus in China.
But the number of new infections nationally was down almost 20% from the day before, from 3,062 to 2,478.