At least 34 Liberian health workers on the battle line to fight off the deadly coronavirus here have fallen as victims the disease, Grand Kru Country Senator Peter Coleman has disclosed.
The Grand Kru Senator noted that it is scaring for health workers to be affected with the virus in such huge number, something he says could scare off other health workers.
Dr. Coleman, a former Health Minister under the Charles Taylor regime told reporters on the grounds of the Capitol Building over the weekend that this has enforced the concern about the protection of health workers, saying this is one major concern the government is facing.
He stressed that this is a major concern because it is important to enable them stay engage in the fight against the virus-adding it would be dangerous for those on the battle front to run away from the battle line.
Dr. Coleman who heads the Senate Health Committee said this is why the government is putting in place mechanism for more protective and safety gears for health workers.
He opined that the virus is ravaging the country and as such, it needs the collective efforts of all Liberians.
He narrated that during the Ebola fight, lot of the medical equipment brought in the country at the time were left over, adding that some of those equipment are now being used for the fight against the COVID-19.
Coleman admits that the virus is currently in seven of the 15 counties suggesting that the engagement and the respectability of the health protocols must be adhere to at all times.
The Senator explained that Maryland, River Gee, and Sinoe Counties are latest counties to report confirmed cases, indicating that the rest of the unaffected counties are at the preparedness stage, while the affected ones are in responding stage.
The Grand Kru County lawmaker explains that the State of Emergency and the lockdown is necessary and timely, saying at the time the president declared the State of Emergency, the number of confirmed cases of the virus were lower but currently, the number of confirmed cases have dramatically increased to 120 with eight deaths reported so far.
Dr. Coleman, who claimed to be working closely with the health authorities at this critical period, announced that with support from the Chinese government and people, Liberia can now conduct test for over 25 cases at the Samuel K. Doe Sport Stadium which is the only testing center so far.
He said the government is also considering the establishment of four additional testing centers across the country especially in counties that are badly hit and start conducting testing in all affected counties.
Speaking on the Liberian Senate involvement in the fight against the virus, Coleman intimated that the leadership of the senate has set several sub committees including health, security, monitoring of the loan scheme and factors as captured in the State of Emergency document.
He noted that the senators will not leave the fight against the COVID-19 during this State of Emergency period with the Executive Branch only, instead senators will closely monitor and work with all stakeholders.
Coleman also used the time to disclose that government and partners have dispatched medical supplies and other essential equipment to the leeward counties for distribution.
Also speaking during the interview, Lofa County Senator Steve Zargo, who heads the Security Committee, said that his committee will report to the plenary of the Liberian Senate this Wednesday, April 29, on the update.
Senator Zargo said that all concerns being raised during the period of the State of Emergency including the establishment of checkpoints, the patrol of security officers in communities, how violators will be handled and other matters will be closely monitored and finding will be submitted to the plenary of the Liberian Senate for proper action.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor