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Coronavirus hits Capitol

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The Liberian Senate has shut down for two weeks after one of its top officials, Assistant Senate Secretary Genevieve Massaquoi has been reported positive of the coronavirus. The Director of Press at the Liberian Senate JalawahTonpoe confirmed to this paper Tuesday, 16 June that the Assistant Senate Secretary came down with the virus. Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Liberia at a time the government relaxes measures imposed initially to limit the spread of the virus.

As at Monday, 15 June, Liberia’s coronavirus case had hit 509 of which 254 are active confirmed cases, 33 have died and 222 have recovered. 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.

On the basis of Madam Genevieve Massaquoi’s reported positive test, Mr. Tonpoe says the Senate is closing for two weeks. Mrs. Massaquoi is the first senior official at the Liberian Legislature to be a confirmed case and she has since been sent to the 14th Military Hospital for medical attention.

It has also been gathered that Madam Genevieve Massaquoi has been home, taking care of her husband who reportedly has not been well. There are claims that her husband works with the Ministry of Education with further reports suggesting that the Minister of Education has been at the 14th Military Hospital undergoing treatment for coronavirus.

When contacted, the Secretary of the Liberian Senate Narborlor F. Singbeh referred this paper to Director Tonpon, saying he (Singbeh) cannot disclose as to whether the Senate is going on a two – week break or his deputy is down with the virus.

“The deputy secretary is not working for me personally; she’s deputy for the Liberian Senate and not my company’s deputy secretary to have information on her. I am home and I don’t know anything of such,” Singbeh says. Court officers were seeking to arrest Mr. Singbeh early Tuesday, 16 June, but he says he is home and being self-quarantined, probably due to his deputy’s coronavirus positive test result.

National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) Director-General designate Dr. MosokaFallah recently said “There are about three hundred active Corona-virus carriers who are freely roaming Monrovia and its environs and we need to get them.”

According to Dr. Fallah, to break the chain of transmission the country needs to implement more stringent measures which include a total lock-down, especially in the most impacted counties. Dr. Fallah believes that these measures are necessary to take the virus off the streets so that they can be contained, traced and isolated.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor& By Ethel A. Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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