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Lockdown imminent

-as Liberia records 3 deaths, 10 cases

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Liberia could face an imminent lockdown as the country’s COVID-19 case upsurge from three to 13 in less than a month with three deaths recorded here on Sunday, 05 April.

Liberians are bracing themselves for what to expect the next day, as the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia or NPHIL provide weekly updates on the virus and preventive measures for the public.

President George Manneh Weah is expected to address the nation this week on the coronavirus and ongoing measures by the government to addressing what risk becoming human and economic devastation.

The numbers are beginning to trickle in here, as Liberia’s COVID-19 confirmed cases upsurge from 10 to 13 with three deaths less than a day after authorities announced three new cases.
Liberia’s Minister of Health Doctor Wilhemina Jallah broke the news Sunday, April 5, 2020 on State radio, saying, “Out of the three new cases, two of them were people who were presenting the symptoms and by the time we were called, they had already died. It’s a male and a female; we tested them and they tested positive”, said the Minister.

According to Doctor Jallah, all three deaths occurred outside of government treatment facility, adding, “They died either at home or in another hospital.”

The Executive Director of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, Doctor Mosoka Fallah explained, the three new cases include a health care worker at a medical facility where case N0.6, identified as James Reynolds, went to seek medication.He said one of the deaths occurred at home, involving a foreign national who had returned from a country previously not listed as hotspots.

She, however, stated that taking preventive measures with those hospitals and also ensuring that those who came in contact are being monitored.

The three victims include a 72-year-old laboratory technician, John Teah, who died at ELWA Hospital in Paynesville, 41-year-old Dorris Prowd and David Zinnah, 42-year-old laborator technician at Aspen Medical Laboratory, respectively.

Last week, the country registered three fresh cases, which brought the data to six since President George Manneh Weah announced the index case on 16 March.
The index case who reportedly chose not be quarantined upon arrival at the Roberts Internationl Airport went home and infected his domestic worker.

Third case of COVID-19 was confirmed on 20 March involving 63-year-old Linda Ross. Ross recently returned from Italy. Following this third case, the Ministry of Health in Monrovia two days later (22March) declared a national health emergency in Liberia.

Last week three confirmed cases were pronounced here days after health authorities reported a suspected case from Grand Gedeh County, involving a 22-year-old female with travel history from Abidjan, neighboring Ivory Coast.

Meanwhile, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia says as of 12:00PM Sunday, 05 April total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Liberia are 13, including seven active, three recovered, and three deaths, while total suspected cases stand at 10. Story by Jonathan Browne