Liberia: Health Minister Dr. Jallah Says Government Prioritizes “Tight Restriction” over Lockdown
Monrovia – As the deadly coronavirus ravages the country steadily, the readings on the lips of many Liberians and foreign nationals have it that there is going to be a lockdown as was done during the first wave, but the Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, says lockdown is not part of the plan.
This, Dr. Jallah said there will rather be some level of tight restrictions as things gets worse.
“We are not proposing a lockdown. We will have restrictions, if you do anything, we will tighten the restriction a little bit more. We will look at all of them and see the one we can put a little bit tightens on to improve the system,” Dr. Jallah said.
She also called on Liberians to abide by the restriction adding that the lockdown and the crew-few are in the hands of the Liberian people.
“Abide by the protocol that we have put down. If you abide by the protocols and we see this thing turn around, then we do not need to do anything else but if everybody decide that they do not want to do anything to abide, they rather want to get sick and we put you in the hospital, we will have to go by those tight measures,” she stated.
Dr. Jallah added, “Right now, we are not talking about lockdown; we are talking to you all to see how you can work with us to make sure that we all accomplish this COVID-19 fight because you know that lockdown is expensive.”
“Even if it is a need that before you leave Montserrado County to go to Grand Bassa County, we will test you, we will vaccinate you, we will have to go that way. It is easier, we are not locking down anybody but if you want to cross-over you got to show the negative test result.”
The Fight is Not Only Health Ministry
As the fight against the coronavirus continues, the rise in the cases is getting worse day by the day. The Health Minister was not definite as to when things will get better in the country.
According to the Health Minister, by next week, her team will try to analyze the graph, adding that there are already a bit changes in the data coming from the health sector.
Dr. Jallah said, “We can see some peaks are coming down, we are trying to catch up and be current on the number of tests that we do per day and look at the day-to-day numbers that are positive and that is how we are going to analyze whether we are doing well. Now, to say that things will get better by tomorrow morning that I cannot say.”
She continued, “This fight is not only Health Ministry fight. So, if you sit on the fence and say how soon things will get better, it is up to all of us here in Liberia.”
According to the Minister, enough vaccines are in the country and some are beginning to arrive soon. She added if people start to wear their masks and wash their hands and socially distance themselves, things will get better quickly.
Dr. Jallah said, “If people decide that they want to go and protest, they do not want to close the bars, they want to act like everything is ok, then this thing will be dragging for some time.”
“Even if we are fighting and they are fighting against us then it makes this fight difficult. What I think is, they should be fighting along with us and I think we are going to see the difference quickly.”
The minister reading some stats says there are 4251 cases in the country and 48 percent of those cases occur in the month of June with 55 deaths reported. Since March of last year, there has been 141 death reported. There are also 1619 active cases around the country.
The minister added that because the virus is so deadly and there is a lack of oxygen, recovery is taking a long time. There are 2346 cases that have been recovered.
Out of 15 counties, Rivergee and Grand Kru Counties are the two counties that are not being hit by the deadly coronavirus.
Contact tracing are 1460 persons and 103 persons are in treatment units around the country with 57 persons on Star Base and 47 are on critical condition –on oxygen.