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Liberia: Government to begin Ebola testing

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By Lewis S Teh

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health announces plans to start rapid Ebola testing of healthcare workers assigned at various land borders.

“We are going to begin testing people especially, health care workers, who are assigned at the Ivoirian borders for Ebola”, says the head for immunization at the Ministry of Health, Adolphus Clarke.

Addressing reporters Thursday, August 26, 2021, during a weekly press briefing held at the Ministry of Information on Capitol Hill, Mr. Adolphus said though Ebola is not in Liberia, it was prudent to have citizens tested especially, health care workers who are front liners.

“As you may be aware, we have an outbreak in neighboring Ivory Coast and this means we have to be on our feet; that’s why beginning today, August 27, we will begin the vaccination exercise, beginning with people in Montserrado County”, he says.

He says the exercise will cover three sites, beginning with health workers at Redemption Hospital, Star Base, and Montserrado county health team.

Clarke adds that beyond Montserrado, citizens residing in counties that border neighboring Ivory Coast, including Maryland, Nimba, and Rivergee will receive the Ebola jab along with health workers to ensure they are protected, targeting over 2,000 persons.

However, providing an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, he says about 1,750 persons have received a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine with a target to have 86,000 or more persons vaccinated in the second phase. 

“As for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we are hoping to vaccinate not less than 300,000 people; as we speak since we launched the J and J, we’ve been able to vaccinate 26, 352 persons, and 64 percent of that number accounts for males, meaning that we’ve been able to vaccinate 16,909 males and 9,4 41 females, which accounts for 36 percent

He notes that the result still shows there are more males turning out for the vaccines than females, saying, “We will continue to make this passionate appeal to our mothers, sisters to turn out and take their vaccine.” 

Earlier, the Minister of Health, doctor  Wilhelmina Jallah  said there is no need for citizens to panic over the re-emergence of the Ebola virus disease, saying “we’re being told that there’s no new case in the Ivory Coast, all we have to do here in Liberia is to increase the awareness and tighten our surveillance at the borders.”

On the question of the recent Marburg virus disease in Guinea, the Minister says there’s is no new confirmed case in that country, and Liberia is fully prepared to conduct tests for any virus that may cross over into the country.

Commenting also on the COVID-19 says as of Thursday, August 26, 2021, Liberia has a total of 5,578 cases, while 5, 241 have recovered and that out of eight patients that were at the government treatment center, Star Base, three have been released.

She names Grand Cape Mount and Grand Gedeh as counties with three active cases, while Grand Kru and Bomi are in preparedness.

She however adds that Nimba and Rivergee reported a rise in cases due to the testing of Ivorian refugees that are returning home.

At the same time, Dr. Jallah says all those people reluctant to get vaccinated are highest risks, calling on the public to stop politicizing the process and come out to increase the vaccination rate.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/i-coast-confirmed-ebola-case/ Editing by Jonathan Browne

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