-As Health Minister calls for calm
Amidst efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the government-run Liberia News Agency (LINA) is reporting that Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, has called on Liberians to exercise patience as they await the arrival of new consignment of vaccines expected to arrive in the country by the end of July 2021.
“As of today, there is no more first and second dose. We do not have enough firs dose and no second dose. We are making numerous arrangements to make sure that vaccines are in the country by the end of this month and going to August,” said Dr. Jallah
She emphasized that the public should be calm and await the announcement of the arrival of vaccines in order to report to various centers and get vaccinated.
Dr. Jallah disclosed that there will be a variety of vaccines, including the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines and that people, especially those who are skeptical, will have a choice to make on which vaccine to take.
“There are about 92,000 people who have been vaccinated and there are about 96,000 doses left to be administered to people,” she disclosed, while addressing the Ministry of Information regular press briefing in Monrovia last Thursday.
Dr. Jallah expressed appreciation for resilient Liberians who were awaiting their second dose of the anti-COVID-19vaccine, citing that the second dose that should have been administered to them was used to vaccinate more people.
Providing an update on the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Health Minister placed the number of total confirmed cases at 5,026 and total active cases at 2,375.
According to her, the total number of deaths up to present is 136 while 2,516 people have recovered from the virus, noting also that a total of 123,000 samples have been collected throughout the country.
She also disclosed that a total of 32 new cases have been recorded since the beginning of July this year.
Relative to rumors of a possible lock-down, Dr. Jallah indicated that locking the country down comes with lots of issues and there are stages before coming up with a complete lockdown, which includes “restrictions, tighten of restrictions, partial lockdown before coming into a complete lockdown,” adding that more people are abiding by the health protocols so there is no need for lockdown now.
She called on all religious leaders, school administrators, marketers and the general public to spread the message of the risk and prevention of coronavirus pandemic and expressed gratitude to the public for adhering to the health protocols setup in combating the virus.
“We want to send a special message to those travelers that are here. Whether you are incoming or outgoing travelers, if you are positive, please wait within 7-10 days to be retested and before that time please go to the testing center in order to be retested and if results show negative be certificated. If you go to the airport before that time you are not going to leave the country,” Jallah cautioned.
Meanwhile, the acting Director for the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Jane McCauley, pointed out that as of July 6, the lab has tested 123,000 sample of COVID-19 throughout the country, noting that “the variant of concern that we have in the country is the B117 and we also have another variant that is classified under World Health Organization (WHO), as the heated variant and another variant is undergoing investigation.”
She disclosed that NPHIL has also opened another voluntary testing facility at the Paynesville Town Hall which will operate from 9a.m. to 10p.m. Monday – Friday, pointing out that they have also deplored testing facilities at clinics and hospitals around the country.
The acting NPHIL boss said that the institution is undertaking rapid testing and everyone that will be tested at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), will receive their certificate at the airport with a printed copy within 20 minutes.
She lauded President George Weah for putting in place a vibrant leadership in the fight against the virus as she recognized his most recent effort of bringing testing materials from France which will inform us of the current condition of the virus.