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Around The Country: Covid-19 Updates From Five Counties – December 15, 2020

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Bong County: Fear of New Cases Heightens


Many people did not follow the COVID-19 health protocols during the political campaigns and on election day


Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Jonathan Flomo   says he is worried that there might be new cases of COVID-19 in the county due to the lack of people sticking to the health protocols during the just ended midterm senatorial election and national referendum process.

The health protocols, according to Dr. Flomo, were violated by the senatorial candidates and their supporters during the campaign period and on election day.

Said Dr. Jonathan Flomo: “On and before the election day across the county our people were not abiding by the health protocols. People hugged each other and shook hands, many of them did not wear nose mask, least to say washed their hands. On the day of the election, there were washing hand buckets placed at every polling places across the county, but our people weren’t making use of them”.

New cases of COVID-19, according to the Bong County Health Officer can only spike if citizens of the County don’t avoid crowded places, continue washing their hands with soap and water properly, practice social distancing, and avoid handshake.

He added, “My people this virus is real and is still around here, let continue to wash our hands, stop this constant denial. Let work together for a stronger and a healthier Bong County”.

The Bong County health team stressed that coronavirus is still in the country, adding that adherence to the health regulations is key in the fight against the virus.


Grand Kru County: Flouting COVID-19 Protocols On Election Day



Citizens in Grand Kru County have expressed fear of contracting Coronavirus after the conduct of the December 8 election. It was observed during the conduct of the just ended election that COVID-19 health protocols were not being observed.

“The polling center where I voted was very risky; voters were not having their nose mask to protect themselves, no social distancing was in order,” said Mark Chea. “It is possible that the county may go back into red [have new confirmed cases of COVID-19]”.

Before polling day, the National Elections Commission announced that all voters must wear nose mask before being allowed to vote, but the mandate was not enforced.

“I’m afraid of getting this virus, we don’t know who is traveling with the virus, other people came from Monrovia and other places to vote who knows what will happen next? Our lives are at risk during this election process,” said another voter.


Grand Cape Mount County: Liberia, Sierra Leone Strengthen Covid-19 Collaborations


Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh led the Liberian delegation to the meeting in Bo City, Sierra Leone


A coordinated approach for the implementation of restrictions of cross-border movement in response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been mutually agreed between Liberia and Sierra Leone. Several top health officials of the two countries including Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh attended the meeting, which was held in Bo City, Sierra Leone.

The agreement was reached between the two countries during a meeting held from November 9-12, 2020. But the implementation of a crucial recommendation from the meeting began on December 14.

According to Richard Tuwah, Grand Cape Mount Surveillance Officer, the discussions strengthens cross-border collaboration between neighboring countries of the Mano River Union basin.

Representatives of the three countries agreed to coordinate communications between the two neighboring countries as they implement COVID-19 preparedness and response activities, sharing of information in a formal framework between neighboring countries, reduce the spread of COVID-19 across the borders of neighboring countries and harmonize public health interventions at entry points between neighboring countries.

A joint resolution outlined several things including implementing and harmonizing COVID-19 screening at land crossing beginning December 14, 2020.

The two countries also agreed to enforce several measures including denying entry of travelers who do not meet the standard, and that port of entry health staff will determine if travel companions of the suspected ill traveler should be allowed to travel or must await further evaluation of suspected ill traveler, amongst others.

The two countries also agreed to establish a harmonized data collection and reporting tool for the two countries.


Grand Gedeh County: Reawakening Adherence to COVID-19 Preventive Measures 


Eleven hand washing facilities were built at various border cross points with the Republic of Ivory Coast | Photo By: Ben T. C . Brooks


 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the United Nations Development programs (UNDP) has begun the installation of modern hand washing facilities and nose masks distribution in the county.

IOM field coordinator, Jonathan Robert said the project is intended to reinforce the COVID-19 preventive measures in the county, especially at major border points with Ivory Coast. Eleven hand washing facilities and 5,000 pieces of locally made nose masks were distributed.

He said even though, cases of Covid-19 are not on the increase in the county, but it was necessary to follow all precautionary measures.

“I called on you to make use of these modern hand washing facilities here at this B’hai, Ivorian border and nose masks distribution mainly for our brothers and sisters that are crossing in and out to this recognized international border on our land,” Robert said. “Kindly take this virus prevention seriously because it’s real and spreads faster”.


The IMO also donated 5,000 nose masks to members of the joint security in the area to ensure that travelers have access to nose mask | Photo By: Ben T.C. Brooks


In response to the support, Grand Gedeh County electoral district #3 Representative Hon. Alex Chersia Grant thanked the IMO for “reawakening the spirit of Covid-19 prevention in the county” and called the community to make proper use of the hand washing facilities and always wear their mask when in public place.


River Cess County: Charity Conducts Medical Outreach


Scores of people, mostly women, benefited form the medical outreach | Photo By: Eric Opa Doue


The Kuyateh Foundation a charity organization is currently carrying on a free medical outreach in the County at the Liberia Inland Mission. This is first intervention from the charity since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Forday Kuyateh the spokesperson of the group said his organization has done free medical outreach in Montserrado and other counties. There are five Spanish Doctors on the team.

The one-day outreach conducted on December 14 targeted over 200 people. According to Mr. Kuyateh, those with conditions that cannot be treated in the county will be transferred to Monrovia at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital for further medical care.

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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