Like the wordings of President George Manneh Weah’s COVID-19 awareness song says, “What kind of world we live in today; there is no security; everything is possible”, Liberia is at the crossroads in its novel coronavirus fight with uncertainty looming over the nation.
With current total deaths at 23 and total active cases at 85 plus 125 recoveries, the country, like many other states in Africa, is still in its embryonic stage of this rapidly devastating virus that has wrecked many western countries in both human capital and economic terms.
Health authorities here, including the Minister of Health doctor WilheminaJallah and her deputy, as well as the Country Representative of W.H.O. doctor Peter Clement and his colleague of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctor Desmond Williams, reported for testing Sunday, 17 May at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in move to encourage the public to go for testing. The director-general for the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, doctor MosokaFallah led his staff for testing Wednesday, 20th May.
But in the past two months (March 16th to May 16th) the Government of Liberia has be unable to move ahead of the curve or contain number of deaths in 14 or 21 days, which is very worrisome and scaring.
Despite a State of Emergency and lockdown, the country continues to incur new deaths from COVID-19 nearly every week, and the metrics is not reversing at all.
Currently, there is a huge anxiety among the public for a pending food stimulus package from the government that may precede total lockdowns in communities to allow health authorities to conduct mass testing of residents.
At the same time, writings on the wall indicate the authorities are preparing to return to status quo ante or business as usual, which has already begun with the re-opening of churches, mosques and other worship centers across the country, while schools and businesses are watching to follow.
This could rapidly increase infections among the population and correspondingly swell the present death toll, given the fact that doctors globally have found no cure for COVID-19.
We wonder then, what statistics or progress from the fight that is informing our leaders to desire easing the lockdown and resume full economic activities or are we copying from other countries when our own situation is completely unique.
The Minister of Education Dao AnsuSonii, said this week he looks forward to the Ministry of Health for green-light to re-open schools throughout the country, but with strict observance of health protocols.
Do we really mean this as a country? President Weah declared a State of Emergency and lockdown, which took effect on 10th April, 2020 when we had only 31confirmed cases, including four deaths. How in the world could we resume normal activities at currently 233 total confirmed cases and 23 deaths? The government should rethink its strategy in this COVID-19 fight.