Phebe Hospital Closes for Two Weeks After Three Health Workers Test Positive for COVID-19

GBARNGA, Bong – Phebe Hospital has been closed to the public after three of its health workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Several patients seeking treatment for different conditions are now being rejected by the hospital. Christopher Ciapha, a technician at a local radio station in Gbarnga, was one of those rejected by Phebe on Friday morning. He had fainted and family members rushed him for treatment. They later took him to C.B. Dunbar Hospital, which also rejected him. He finally landed at a local private clinic in Gbarnga, where he is currently being treated.

“Three of our health workers have tested positive of the Coronavirus,” Bong’s county health officer, Adolphus Yieah, told The Bush Chicken early Friday morning. “We need to fumigate the hospital before we open it to the public.”

He said the hospital would be closed for the next two weeks, beginning on June 18.

Dr. Jefferson Sibley, the medical director at Phebe Hospital, also confirmed the closure to the public, but said it would last for “24 hours to two days.”

He said the three nurses affected by COVID-19 are emergency room workers. Sibley noted that two persons had died from COVID-19 at the hospital.

“Because of our exposure to the disease, we have decided to do our tests here. After the first set of tests done, three of our nurses are now positive,” he told The Bush Chicken.

He said more testing would be done in the coming days for health workers at the hospital. The three nurses are being treated at the hospital.

“We need to hurry and make this emergency treatment unit functional here,” Sibley said.

Bong has recorded five confirmed cases of COVID-19, with three deaths so far. More than 46 contacts are being traced in the county.

On Wednesday, Dr. Yeiah announced at an Incident Management System meeting in the county that the central government had provided US$18,000 to the Bong County Health Team for COVID-19 response.

He noted that the money would be used to fast track the preparation of a treatment unit being reactivated at the Phebe Hospital.

Yeiah said a portion of the amount would also be used to repair and replace damaged parts of three ambulances in the county and strengthen social mobilization for COVID-19 in Bong.

Featured photo by Moses Bailey

Moses Bailey

Moses started his journalism career in 2010 as a reporter at Radio Gbarnga. In 2011, the Press Union of Liberia recognized him as the Human Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2017, he was the Development Reporter of the Year. He is also an Internews Health Journalism Fellow. Moses is also the regional coordinator for NAYMOTE-Liberia, an organization working with youth to promote democratic governance.

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