-Sen. Karnga-Lawrence prefers, but NPHIL debunks

Sen. Ynonblee Karnga Lawrence

The National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) has debunked the Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence on her Social Media post calling on members of the public to prepare for possible lockdown within the course of a day or two. 

NPHIL said in a release that Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence’s post on Facebook urging the public to prepare for a lockdown in a day or two, was not its decision.

“In a Facebook post of Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence urging the public to prepare for a possible lockdown in a day or two, has drawn our attention”, NPHIL said. 

Sen. Karnga-Lawrence on her official Facebook page on Sunday afternoon encouraged members of the public to prepare their families for a lockdown in a day or two by getting food that are not perishable such as rice, farina, green plantain, eddoes, sugar, milk, butter, cornmeal and oaks. The Senator told Liberians to do everything to stay home.  

NPHIL urged the public to remain calm and that health authorities have not reached any decision on imposing a lockdown at this time. “We urge the public to remain calm and noted that health authorities have not reached any decision on imposing a lockdown at this time, the release said. “We urge the public to remain calm and note that health authorities have not reached any decision on imposing a lockdown at this time.

Government however warned that when such a decision is reached, the Incident Management System (IMS) would communicate it to the public, and urged the public to continue to follow the safety protocols of wearing masks in public places; practice social distancing; washing hands frequently and avoiding large gathering.

Health authorities recently announced a resurgence of Coronavirus in the country, with a new strain. As at Saturday June 26, 2021 of last week, the virus had reached a peak of 1342 cases.

In a nationwide address, President George Weah, termed as alarming the rate at which Liberians in the country are contracting a new strain of Covid-19.

Dr. Jallah reading the new guidelines said passengers who have been present in India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Liberia

She said mask wearing and hand washing are mandatory in public, as well as social distancing of at least three feet, and pronounced a mandatory 50% reduction in government workforce. 

“Gatherings of more than 20 persons (including parties, weddings, and funerals) are not allowed; gatherings of under 20 persons must follow the mitigation protocols as stated”, the statement read the Health Minister said persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their contacts are required to comply with the guidelines of health authorities and related health rules, such as keeping telephone lines open, self-quarantine, submission to quarantine or observation measures, and adherence to medical advice.

In spite of these measures the numbers of deaths and positive cases continue rising. Hospitals are overwhelmed and death news is unusually all time high. Many in the public anticipate a sooner lockdown than await a worsening situation before taking action.

Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia says it empathizes with Liberian families and foreign residents that have been personally afflicted by the ongoing third wave of the coronavirus pandemic that is currently affecting parts of Africa.

Government assured the public that all efforts are being exerted to halt further spread of the disease, including bringing into the country tens of thousands of additional doses of vaccines and ramping up testing. “The capacity of the Incident Managing System is being boosted by additional rapid test machines in order to quickly identify and Isolate those infected, while concluding preparations to open more treatment and testing facilities across the country”, the government said.

The government said it is increasing public awareness about the modes of transmission and enforcing prevention protocols. The government, however, admonishes everyone to refrain from exploiting people’s grief for their selfish interests. “This is simply not the time for the constant social media fight over false information or imaginary statistics. The Liberian health authorities have been thorough in their attempts to accurately record the number of sick and those who have unfortunately succumbed to the disease. To this date, testing, including of the dead, is regularly done at health facilities across the country in order to ascertain the real data. The official Covid-19 death toll since the crisis began in March 2020 is 120. Of this number, the deaths we have experienced during the third wave is 35”, a statement from Information Ministry read.

Government said, said number is very undesirable, “which is why it is utterly callous for some to try to exploit a national crisis by putting out inaccurate death statistics with the intention of riling up emotions”.

The Ministry reminded the public that additional measures on combating Covid-19 are communicated only through official designated mediums. “Everyone is therefore urged to remain calm and exert a united front against this common and existential threat”, the statement said.

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