Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah says the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases here are expected to witness a sharp rise before taking a nose dive.
Dr. Jallah whose ministry is at the center of the COVID-19 fight along with other partners say the country could reduce the number of confirmed case if citizens adhere to the various health measures put in place by the government, which includes social distancing with emphasis on the wearing of mask in public.
She told the New Dawn Tuesday July 14 “we know that the figures will go up before they come down. So we need to take all necessary precautions to ensure that it comes down,” she said adding that part of that measure is the wearing of mask in public.
Liberia as at Sunday July 12, had reported a total of 1024 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Out of this number 51 persons have been reported dead, 439 recovered and 534 still active. The country recorded 14 new confirmed cases including five health care workers in a single day during the reporting period of July 12.
Eight of the Liberia’s 15 counties reported new confirmed cases on 12 July 2020. Since March 16 – July 12, 2020, a total of 6,430 suspected cases including 162 deaths have been reported across 14 counties. Of these, one thousand twenty four (1,024) have been confirmed including 118 (11.5%) health workers. 99% of confirmed cases are locally transmitted and 1% remains imported, the country’s National Public Health Institute (NPHIL) reported.
According to the NPHIL during the reporting period, cumulatively 9,939 samples have been tested at the national reference laboratory. President George Weah has since extended the State of emergency for additional 30 days in an effort to mitigate and contain the spread of the virus across the country.
Dr. Jallah said the government is trying to balance the economy and public health, therefore there is a need for the public to sacrifice for a little while, which is the compulsory wearing of mask at all shopping centers and markets. “Without the wearing of masks, the COVID-19 will take a long time to go and continue to spread in our neighborhoods,” she said.
Dr. Jallah noted that the benefit of wearing mask is to protect the local community. She was quick to add that the rising of the COVID-19 in the various localities is not as a result of testing but rather community spread. She opined that the wearing of mask would help protect the community and limited the spread of the virus. She also caution that anyone can be a victim of the virus and so everyone must work towards reducing its spread by taking the necessary health precautions.