Senate Secretariat Shuts Down After Deputy Secretary Contracts COVID-19

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The secretary of the Liberian Senate, Nanborlor Singbeh, has shut down the entire secretariat after deputy secretary Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking via telephone, Senate Communications Director  Jarlawah Tonpo confirmed to The Bush Chicken that Massaquoi had tested positive for the Coronavirus and that the secretariat would be closed and quarantined for two weeks.

Tonpo said there was no information yet on whether the Senate would suspend its activities, but he promised to consult with Senate president pro tempore Albert Chie and leadership of the Senate.

“The Senate has not decided to suspend any of its activities,” Tonpo said on Tuesday. “I don’t know where this information is coming from. We usually have sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays and since tomorrow is session day, we will get back to the media. But the Senate has not suspended any activities, as [is] being calculated in the public and social media.”

It was not immediately clear how Massaquoi came in contact with the virus. However, health authorities are now said to be observing Senate staffers.

In related news, the House of Representatives is contemplating shutting down and suspending all activities for two weeks, due to a ranking member of the House testing positive for the virus, according to a House staffer who preferred to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to disclose such information.

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase since most measures meant to contain the spread of the virus were relaxed. The National Public Health Institute of Liberia reported that there were 509 confirmed cases as of June 15, with 254 active cases, 33 deaths, and 222 recoveries.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Ida Reeves

Ida Reeves holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Liberia in Mass Communications and Sociology. She graduated from the Young Political Leadership School and has worked in the past for Farbric Radio, Freedom Radio, and Frontier newspaper.

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