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First COVID -19 Case in Maryland County

Pleebo, Maryland County – A man, 28, has tested positive for COVID-19 in Maryland County, making him the first confirmed case in the southeastern county of Liberia, and now residents expect rubost response from the heallth authority to deal with the outbreak.

According to a release from the County Health Team, the patient, who recently travelled from Monrovia, was tested positive for the virus on April 24, after he was traced by healthworkers.

“Our Health Team has been preparing before our first case,” said Dr. Methodius George, the county health officer.

He also called for communities to “play important role in slowing the spread of COVID 19” by following all the preventive measures.

Social distancing, frequent washing of hands, and wearing nose and mouth covering are some of the coronavirus preventive measures announced by Liberia’s health authorities.

According to Dr. George, who spoke on Voice of Hope FM in Pleabo, the tracing of people who the patient came in contact with is ongoing by the surveillance team, which is being supported by dvelopemnt partners.

“The CHT continues to be on its alert and ready to respond,” he said. “We understand the public concerns and want to ensure everyone that the health of our patients, residents, employees and community members is always our top priority.”

Meanwhile, some residents of Pleabo and Harper cities, who spoke with LocalVoicesLiberia, have called for effective response to the outbreak.

Gregory W. Bailey, a student of William VS Tubman University, said the first case in the county is “an alarm that means all should be serious and listen to the health workers in following all the preventive measures to avoid the spread”.

“I am a bit afraid and surprise this morning to hear on the radio about first COVID-19 case in the county,” said Felecia Wleh Toe, a resident of Zone Five community in Pleebo.

“We understand the public concerns and want to ensure everyone that the health of our patients, residents, employees and community members is always our top priority.” – Dr. Methodius George

But Wleh is confident that the health surveillance team will “work hard to identify any resident who may require monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19”.

“Thou it is disheartening, but I believe with the grace of God and strength of our health workers in Maryland County, we will break the chain of transmission,” added Oliver Weah, a motorcyclist in Pleebo who called on humanitarian groups and individuals to “aid motorcyclists with protective garments to protect us and passengers from catching the virus”.

“For me, I just want to ask that all of our residents continue to follow social distancing and other approved measures to stay healthy,” advised Anthony Kwarbo, a public heath student of Tubman University.

“This is not the time for citizen to be afraid; what we need to do now is to give the health workers more chance to do their work. Let citizens stop auguring with the government and health workers”.

Moses Geply is a Liberian journalist with 10 years’ experience in broadcast and print journalism. He is based in Harper City, Maryland County. He is also a founding member of the Local voices Liberia media Network. Geply has obtained several trainings from local and international media development organizations on health, land rights, elections, and gender based violence reporting amongst others. Geply holds strongly that the media plays “an important role in a democratic society” and journalists are “like a bridge between the authorities and ordinary people”. He is currently a student of theTubman University in Harper, Maryland County. He can be contacted on mobile phone by +231886-710-643/ +231775062739,or via email: toegeplyg@gmail.com

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