Liberia Suspends All Travels To China, As Health Ministry Intensifies Monitoring  

Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Karteh

The Liberian government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has with immediate effect halts Liberians traveling to China due to the current outbreak of novel coronavirus in that part of the world that has taken dozens of lives.

Over the past years China has been a serious shopping place for Liberians, many of whom are women purchasing Chinese made products for home sales. Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus many of those who had earlier traveled to that country have been thoroughly checked upon arrival at the Roberts International Airport (RIA).

Few days ago, the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia and Deputy Minister for Health Services at the Ministry of Health and Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Karteh, has informed the plenary of the House of Representatives that the ministry will need about US$3m in funding to enable it tackle any potential outbreak of the Corona Virus in the country.

He said the amount will help adequately prepare the health sector to carryout surveillance, screening, quarantining and other measures necessary to protect the Liberian people.

Making the disclosure on Thursday when the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) appeared before the full plenary of the House, Karteh said an initial investment of US$3 million will be able to put in place the structure and system that will guide the country and meet the need for equipment to protect the lives of citizens.

The appearance of the health authorities at the House of Representatives is the result of a communication from Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon Seboe calling on the health officials to provide clarity on measures and steps being taken to handle any outbreak that may spark in the country.

He further called on Liberians not to politicize the issue of the coronavirus, adding that to fight the virus from entering the country will take the collective efforts of every Liberian.

Karteh is, however, calling on every Liberian to put the same measures in place as was the case of the Ebola virus outbreak in the country some four years ago.

At the same time, the Director of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, Dr. Mosoka Fallah, disclosed that of the six cases suspected earlier in Africa, including neighboring Ivory Coast, are all negative.

He added: “The world is at risk. No country is safe. We need to use our resources and everything possible to protect the world”.

Meanwhile, plenary has pledged its support to the health authorities and promised to work with them in every way possible to keep the country safe.

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About Cholo Brooks 12126 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.