Following the first confirmed case of the coronavirus on Capitol Hill,the leadership of the 54th Legislature (the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate) has lockdown the Capitol, sending lawmakers home.
The Assistant Secretary of the Liberian Senate Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi, tested positive here Wednesday, June 17 for the virus and has been transferred to the 14th Military Hospital, the government’s main treatment center for medical attention. The Senate has suspended its sittings for this Session for one week, beginning June 16, 2020 to observe the situation.
A determination to either resume session next week will be reached this weekend. Madam Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi is lively in speech, hopeful in prayer and trusting God as a Christian and deaconess to recover soon. The President of the Senate, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, Senate President Pro-Tempore Albert T. Chie and other members of the senate are in deep sorrow and have wished her speedy recovery.
News of the first Covid-19 confirmed case at the First Branch of the Liberian government comes here as the country records a total of 516 confirmed cases, including 33 deaths and 240 recoveries. The National Public Health Institute of Liberia or NPHIL recorded seven (7) new cases as of 10:00PM, 16 June.
A 60-day State of Emergency declared by President George Manneh Weah has elapsed with no plan for renewal as the country gradually opens up with the Roberts International Airport poised to resume flights and restaurants, hotels and other entertainment centers ordered opened.
President Weah also ordered churches, mosques and other worship centers reopened, including schools, beginning with 12th graders in preparation for the regional West African Senior School Certificate Exams (WASSCE) administered annually by the West African Examination Council, WAEC.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Senate J. Nanborlor F. SingbeSr, has closed the Secretariat for two weeks, beginning June 16, 2020. In recent days, new cases of the deadly virus have increased dramatically.
In a rare public revelation, health authorities last Tuesday made an embarrassing disclosure that an estimated 300 persons who are carriers of the COVID-19 are roaming Monrovia and its environs undetected. The Director-General designate of NPHIL Dr. Mosoka Fallah, said, “There are about three hundred active Corona-virus carriers who are freely roaming Monrovia and its environs and we need to get them.”
He said to break the chain of transmission and beat back the looming danger, the country needs to implement more stringent measures, which include a total lock-down, especially in most impacted counties, with no one leaving his or her home. Such measures, Dr. Fallah said, is necessary to take the virus off the streets and into the communities where they can be contained, traced and isolated.
Statistics released by the NPHIL identified hot spots in Montserrado County, including King Gray, ELWA, Duport Road and Thinkers Village. Other affected communities are Clara Town, Caldwell, Bardnerville and Gardnersville, respectively. The county has a total of 440 confirmed cases and 20 deaths.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne