The Director of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) has disclosed that over 71 cases of the COVID-19 cases has been confirmed, noting that the previous number of 59 has been increased with four recovery, five death.
Dr. Mosoka Fallah speaking on a local radio station, the Truth FM on Thursday, April 16, 2020 in Monrovia said he support one hundred percent lockdown which he said would greatly help in the containment of the virus in Liberia, and further said although a total lockdown will be very expensive, but was quick to have said that it would be better than allowing the illness to overtake the country.
He recommended through the radio talk-show that instead of having the lockdown long, it could be divided into phases which will allow health workers and contact tracers to do a work that will bring a result. According to him, as a Public Health worker, he and his team prepared for COVID-19 cases before reaching Africa and needed to have prevented.
Giving a background of how the National Public Health Institute wants to have prevented the virus from reaching Liberia, Dr. Fallah said, January 18,2020, he wrote the Minister of Health highlighting the need to have a proper system put into place to prevent the virus from reaching Liberia.
Dr. Fallah as well said knowing the potential of the virus reaching Africa long before, he and his team wrote a proposal to some partners requesting supports to prevent the virus. “One of our partners said Liberia needed to have recorded the first case of the virus before they can help, he said. Dr. Fallah said the health workers said if their proposal and support they needed were given, two ambulances and little resources would have helped in containing the spread of the virus.
Additional, Dr. Fallah indicated that NPHIL has trained 355 medical students to be deployed in front of health facilities as means of collecting data on who goes in and comes out of health centers. Dr. Fallah also indicated that more active case finders are needed to help in the fight against the coronavirus, noting that the current six thousand they presently have are insufficient to do the needed work.
He said there is a need for additional nine thousand to complement the efforts of the six thousand already in the field. When he was quizzed why the institution is not making use of more health workers of do the case finding, Dr. Fallah indicated that ” we can not take all the health workers from the Hospitals to find cases.” He went on to say that case finders don’t necessarily be a health worker stressing ” during the Ebola crisis, one of my contacts tracers was a Kissi Governor who provide information about a mass burial site, this was not done by a health worker.”
He intoned that they are using Community dwellers to do the case finding or contact tracing because those people know their Communities and can provide the best information that will lead to reaching possible case(s).
Additional, Dr. Fallah said many persons have put out some irreplaceable attitudes by not accepting the fact that the virus in in Liberia, thus hiding themselves from being tested when they are sick.
One of the points the NPHIL boss raised is what he called ‘ Drive Through Testing’, the method he said is working to test many of these who are positive today, ” Liberia has a threat, let is fight it and leave the politics” the NPHIL boss said.