NPHIL Director General Refutes Report of Contact With Coronavirus Patient

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Dr. Mosoka Fallah, the head of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, has refuted a report by FrontPage Africa that he had come in close contact with an NPHIL staff who tested positive of COVID-19 last Friday, April 10.

In its news article, FrontPage relied on a photo Fallah and Benjamin Soko had taken together to claim that the two men had been in contact five days prior to Soko’s testing positive. Soko, a staff at NPHIL, had posted the photo on April 5 to his Facebook page.

The Liberian newspaper noted that “efforts applied to get comments from Fallah did not materialize as he failed to reply to in an inquiry SMS.”

However, Fallah appeared on a local radio station on Thursday, April 16 to clarify that the picture posted by Soko on Facebook was not taken on April 5, the same day it was posted.

“The picture was taken on March 1 during a training session at the Roberts International Airport,” Fallah clarified. The director general’s comments seem to check out with the caption on the screenshot posted by FrontPage. In the caption, Soko mentions that he was meeting with Fallah to discuss “curbing the airport of COVID-19 coming to Liberia.”

Meanwhile, Fallah said the article has created panic among his friends and colleagues, with some avoiding close contact with him. Nevertheless, he assured the public that “if I manifest a symptom or came in contact with the positive case, I will let the entire country to know.”

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah


Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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