The Joint Security here seems to be affected by the novel coronavirus following the death of the director of the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency Col. Marcus Soko from COVID-19 last week and the subsequent infection of Justice Minister and Attorney General, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean with several other senior officials of government now said to be risk.
Information reaching the New Dawn reveals that some of the officials are close risk of the deadly virus, include Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Deputy Police Inspector General Col. Marvin Sackor, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Gen. Prince C. Johnson, Jr. Defense Minister, Retired General Daniel Ziahnkan, and Col Sadatu Reeves Deputy Police Inspector General for Administration, among others.
This followed latest statistics from the National Public Health Institute of Liberia or NPHIL putting total confirmed cases in the country at over 140 with 16 deaths.
Police Deputy IG Col. Sackor, is the one who personally drove the fallen LDEA boss Col. Soko, to hospital during his illness and bodily took him to the 14th Military Hospital when some aides of Soko, because of fear failed to show up for duty.
A very close source from the governing Coalition for Democratic Change hinted that Justice Minister Dean, who also chairs the Joint Security, presided over the national security meeting last Saturday, April 11, that was attended by other influential national leaders.
Senator Conmany Wesseh, one of the Senators with oversight responsibility over the National Security apparatus here told the New Dawn on Monday that he also attended the April 11 Joint Security Meeting.
He explained that following the sad death news of the Liberian Drug Enforcement Agency boss, they were called in on Sunday by the Minister of Health to do their tests. He said the test result came back Monday as negative.On the late Col. Soko, he said the late Soko was at that meeting as well.“He was a good gentleman and you know we confirmed him. And we want to express our deepest sympathy.
Sen. Wesseh further took the time to warn Liberians that the COVID 19 is real and that people should be encouraged to go for early testing if they are not feeling well or seem to have symptoms of the virus.
Meanwhile, when this paper contacted Information Minister Nagbe via mobile, his private numbers rang endlessly on several occasions. He also could not return a text message sent to his phone on Monday evening.However, Minister Dean is quoted as saying late Sunday night that he had been informed by the head of NPHIL, Doctor Musoko Fallah that his Covid-19 test results came back positive.
“I am hopeful. The doctors at the 14 Military Hospital are very professional and doing their best. Remember, the virus is posing a challenge to even developed countries with far more sophisticated health systems. At the moment noone knows everything about the virus. We must continue to observe the health protocols, especially, as it relates to social distancing,” the Justice Minister is quoted as saying.
Cllr. Dean tested positive after the virus reportedly killed the LDEA Director General Col. Marcus Soko, who had attended meetings that the Attorney General chaired as head of the Joint Security.
Senator Steve Zargo who was said to be in the security meeting, this paper learned tested negative. Efforts to also reach him on Monday proved futile as his private orange number was said to be switched off.
Meanwhile, President George Manneh Weah has ordered compulsory wearing of face masks in public by all citizens and residents.The President has also threatened to deal with violators and ordered security officers enforcing current State of Emergency and lockdown to arrest anyone found in violation.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne