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Easing lockdown amid virus upsurge

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Liberia is gradually, but seriously slipping into a dilemma, as the country embarks on easing some restrictions, for eventual resumption of normal activities amid a rapid increase of new infections.

While total Covid-19 related deaths is officially at 33, the country has experienced a wave of new confirmed cases in the past two weeks, putting total confirmed cases of the virus at 516, according to the National Public Health Institute of Liberia.

What is even more worrisome, is that the virus has hit the 54th Legislature, specifically infecting the assistant secretary at the Liberian Senate, Madam Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi, who is currently seeking medical attention at the 14th Military Hospital outside Monrovia.

It remains unclear whether Madam Massaquoi had contact with senators on Capitol Hill prior to testing positive. But the Legislature has lockdown for a week to observe the situation.

However, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia is reporting strings of new infections in communities across Montserrado County, including King Kray, ELWA, Duport Road and Thinkers Village. Other affected communities are Clara Town, Caldwell, Bardnerville and Gardnersville, respectively – areas that were not highlighted during the 60-day State of Emergency and previous lockdowns imposed by President George Manneh Weah.

Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi might have surely come in contact with so many persons both at home and in the Liberian Senate, who may now become potential contacts that should be traced immediately to avoid continues spread of the virus.

As President Weah had already ordered 12th graders across the country to return classes in preparation to write the 2020 WASSCE, the regional exams administered by the West African Examination Council, the latest upsurge of new infections, particularly in Montserrado County and parts adjacent poses serious threat to the entire population that should not be overlooked.

The Director-General designate of NPHIL Dr. Mosoka Fallah, recently alarmed that there are about three hundred active Corona-virus carriers freely roaming Monrovia and its environs.
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, stressing that it is necessary to take the virus off the streets into the communities where they can be contained, traced and isolated. The advice of the NPHIL boss should be heeded to avoid leading this country into a quandary that could present unforeseen devastation.

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