Health Officials Confirm Additional Case of Coronavirus Amid Preparedness to Discharge First Three Patients

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Health officials in Liberia have confirmed the country’s seventh case of Coronavirus, even as they prepare to discharge the first three patients.

The National Public Health Institute of Liberia, which is responsible for preventing and controlling public health threats in the country, said there is a new confirmed case of the virus as of midday on Friday, April 3. The new case meant there were now seven confirmed cases in the country.

The institute did not provide any further details on the case, but said the first three index patients – Nathaniel Blama, Johnny Phillips, and Lenda Russ, are expected to be discharged if their second test results from the National Reference Laboratory come out negative.

Information Minister Eugene Nagbe disclosed in an ELBC interview that the new patient is the first non-Liberian to test positive in the country. Nagbe revealed that the patient had not left Liberia since December last year and may have contracted the virus in the country.

“Health authorities have dispatched contact tracers to trace his contacts and subsequently place them under observation,” he said.

He added that health authorities are also investigating to verify whether the newly confirmed case contracted the virus during his interaction with a team of expats last month.

The minister also provided that the three initial patients, whose tests on March 31 proved negative, will not be immediately released, as they awaiting the result of a second test.

“Due to the complexity of the Coronavirus, health authorities have been advised to monitor their condition for some time,” he added, noting that the patients will remain isolated.

Gbatemah Senah

Senah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. Between 2017 and 2019, he won six excellent reporting awards from the Press Union of Liberia. They include a three-time Land Rights Reporter of the Year, one time Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Human Rights Reporter of the Year.

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