Pres. Weah Sets Up Committee on National Response as Coronavirus Cases Increase

MONROVIA, Montserrado – With Liberia having 14 confirmed Coronavirus cases and 3 deaths, President George Weah has set up a committee to coordinate the nation’s response.

According to an Executive Mansion press release issued on Tuesday, Weah appointed the General Services Agency director general, Mary Broh, to serve as the national response coordinator for the Executive Committee on Coronavirus in Liberia, known as ECOC. He also appointed the chief of protocol to his office, Finda Bundoo, as the national compliance manager on the committee.

In her new role, Broh will provide supervision toward containing and eradicating the Coronavirus disease in Liberia. She will also coordinate the national COVID-19 multi-sectorial response plan, in collaboration with the United Nations, donor partners, as well as the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia. Meanwhile, Bundoo will monitor the overall allocation and disbursement of the response logistics and resources.

The two will also ensure timely delivery and accounting for supplies directed to the fight against Coronavirus in the country. The Executive Mansion says the decision to make the appointments was endorsed by the U.N.

Broh and Bundoo will liaise with health authorities on the Incident Management Team and heed their counsel, where necessary, and will report directly to the president.

“Both appointments, which have a term of nine months, became necessary following recommendations made by the United Nations, in particular the World Health Organization, which were aimed at further enhancing the national response as cases begin to spike,” the release said.

“It is also based on a decision from a consultative meeting held between the Special Presidential Advisory Committee on Coronavirus and partners.”

The government has also now decided to move away from the current system of advisory and consultative meetings to operational and community-oriented outreach.

On Sunday, April 5, Health Minister Wilhemina Jallah announced that they had confirmed an additional three cases, including two deaths, making the number of confirmed cases to 13 and the number of deaths three.

“Out of the three new cases, two of them were people that [were] presenting with these symptoms and by the time we were called, they have already died. So, two of the victims are already dead. It’s a male and a female. When we tested them, they tested positive,” Jallah said.

“Only one of the individuals was still alive and has been transported to the treatment center as of this morning. So thirteen cases. Now, you can say three deaths.”

She also disclosed that the three deaths took place outside of the government’s treatment center, noting that the patients did not get treated. Each of the three patients died at home or at a health facility.

“We are taking the precautionary measures with those hospitals to make sure that the places are sprayed and those went in contact [with them] are being identified and found,” she added.

The health minister also reported a single additional case during the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing on Monday. The case means that Liberia now has 14 confirmed cases and 3 deaths. However, no additional details were provided about the new case and the patient.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

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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