By Lewis S. Teh
Liberia’s Health Minister and head of the Incident Management System Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah says those who are concerned about President George Manneh Weah being vaccinated should ask the president himself and not her.
“This question is meant to put me in trouble, but if anyone [is] interested in knowing whether the president has taken his vaccination [they] should ask himself at the Executive Mansion press conference,” Dr. Jallah said Thursday, 29 July 2021 at the Information Ministry’s regular press briefing on Capitol Hill.
Many here believe that President Weah will give the public confidence about the vaccines if he takes the lead to be vaccinated.
But responding to an inquiry by a reporter, Minister Jallah said people’s vaccination status is their own prerogative, noting that she’s not asking whether you took the vaccines or he took the vaccines.
“But I think we should leave it up to the president. I can only encourage him to come out and take it for the public, but I can’t make him do it. My job is to request him and it’s up to him to decide,” Minister Jallah said.
She said her suggestion to people is that if it is a yearning question regarding the president’s vaccination status, they should ask himself when he is having a press conference.
“At this point I’m not my brother’s keeper; all I can do is to recommend individuals to take the vaccines by pleading with people,” she said.
Giving the status of the country regarding the fight against Covid – 19, the Health Minister narrated that Liberia is making progress in the fight against the new variant.
She said for the past two days, there has been no confirmed positive case of the virus, saying the need to continuously wear the mask and observe social distance can’t be over-emphasized.
According to Minister Jallah, Bong County has three cases, Gbarpolu and Bomi Counties are on the countdown, while Grand Cape Mount County has one case.
She reported also that Grand Gedeh and Bassa Counties are also on the countdown, while Grand Kru has four cases, among others.
Minister Jallah detailed that five counties are on countdown including Montserrado, which is considered as the main county that is in response, noting that there are 37 persons in Montserrado that are undergoing investigation for refusing to show up for their test.
“If you are one of those people who are running, we will not give you [a] certificate when you are traveling, because [you] are part of the individuals that are in hiding and speeding the virus,” she warned.
“If we call and you refuse to pick your phone, we will send you a text informing you that you are positive,” Minister Jallah continued.
The Liberian Health Minister indicated that this is a pandemic and the entire world is fighting it, saying the country’s recovery rate is encouraging.
Out of the 5,0548 active cases, Minister Jallah reported that Liberia now has 5,0126 persons who have recovered. She noted that there is no need for people to hide because others are recovering.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jallah has set August 5, 2021, as the date to commence the vaccination of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines donated by the U.S. government here in Montserrado, while the 16 of August is the date set for the rest of the counties to begin.
Additionally, Dr. Jallah has cautioned that those who took the previous AstraZeneca vaccines are not allowed to take the Johnson and Johnson vaccines because the vaccine is for the sick, elderly people with complications, and health care workers, among others.–Edited by Winston W. Parley