Margibi County – Despite growing concerns about a second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Liberia, many people are still showing disregards for the health protocols which public health experts have stressed as very crucial to flatten the curve.
Report By: Kosain B Lombeh, LMD Responsible Health Reporting Fellow
Since November 11, Liberia has recorded 102 confirmed cases of COVID-19, putting the total number of cases recorded since the outbreak in March at 1,663 with 222 of this being active cases of December 4, according to the National Public Health Institute of Liberia.
Before November 10, there were only 74 active cases after 1,312 recoveries and 82 deaths. And as the number flares up again, the president of the National Health Workers Union of Liberia’s Margibi County Chapter, A. Mefarland Kerkula is urging people to keep following the new coronavirus preventive measures to curb the spread of the pandemic. Mr. Kerkula said increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country is “worrisome”.
Margibi County has recorded 84 confirmed cases, out of which 73 persons have recovered, six deaths and five active cases, according to the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, NPHIL.
“It is a sign of warning that every Liberian must perpetually respond by adhering to the COVID-19 preventive measures and desist from breaching health protocols especially during these elections,” Kerkulah said, while describing the situation as “scaring”.
In other to reduce the further spread of the new coronavirus during this political campaign time, the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols is important, Kerkula said.
For Prince Jarbbah, a nurse working at the Dollar Town Community Health Center in Margibi County, there should be strict adherence to the health protocol.
“This is not just about the political campaign because people can even come to this clinic for treatment without nose mask or face shield.” he said. “It is embarrassing, breaching of health protocols.”
Like the health workers, some residents are also concerned about the flagrant violation of the health measures.
“I don’t know why people are not using the nose mask, the face shield and even washing their hands again since we are still in this health crisis?,” asks Togar Gibson, a concerned resident of District one.
Joe Nagbe, commercial vehicle driver, told our reporter at the Harbel general parking station in Firestone that it is difficult to implement the preventive measures because passengers are unwilling.
“It is the passengers who are refusing to use the nose mask,” Nagbe said. “When we tried to compare them, they get angry and go to another car so we cannot force them again instead, we all sit in the car without observing the rules.”
He alleged that there is slow awareness and that the policy regulators are no more rigorous about enforcing COVID-19 regulations.
“For example, we can have passed check points without security asking for mask,” he said, adding that “even though we believe that the virus is real but we want the government to reinforce the law to keep saving lives.”
On the other hand, drivers have been accused of also violating the health protocol by carrying more than the authorized number of passengers at time. When the pandemic started in Liberia, the government initiated several health protocols including the reduction in the number of passengers a vehicle is allowed the carry.
For J. Wasama Boimah, a resident of Kaakata, he wants Liberians to recall the dreadful experience of the Ebola epidemic and be reminded about the danger of the global pandemic.
“We know that people behavior cannot be changed overnight, but we just need to be talking to each other to keep responding to this COVID-19 through the preventive measures,” Boimah said.