MONROVIA – The National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) has revealed that all Liberians arriving from China and other countries with widespread and active human-to-human transmission of coronavirus will be placed under precautionary observation for 14 days upon arrival in the country.
The entities made the statement on the MoH official Facebook page on Wednesday, noting that this initiative is intended to protect the population against the deadly virus.
In cows and pigs the virus may cause diarrhoea, while in chickens it can cause an upper respiratory disease. There are no vaccines or antiviral drugs that are approved for prevention or treatment
Liberians are strongly reluctant to apply for visas to travel to China as this could put the people and country at risk.
“On Monday, February 10, our surveillance system tracked an alert case at the RIA (international airport); the case is a Liberian who travelled from China and transited in Ghana. In Ghana, he showed signs of high temperature and was picked up by the Ghanaian authority,” the statement noted.
However, it explained, there was laboratory test on him that proved negative, and the Ghanaian authority allowed him to travel to Liberia.
He arrived at the RIA still with high body temperature and was picked up by NPHIL surveillance systems and placed at the Precautionary Observation Center (POC) where initial test conducted so far has proven negative. He is in isolation pending another laboratory test of the virus, according to the statement.
Health authorities are treating the incident as “an alert case,” they said.
It emphasized that it has also come to their attention that Liberians business people travelling from China are avoiding to be placed under precautionary observation, and as a result, they are landing in Sierra Leone and travelling by road via Bo Waterside to enter into Liberia.
Meanwhile, West African Health Ministers are expected to meet in Bamako, Mali this week to discuss strengthening Africa’s surveillance and preparedness against the coronavirus.
As Liberia strengthens its surveillance and prepares against the coronavirus outbreak, the country continues to respond to Lassa fever outbreaks.
The release explained that recently two teams from the Central Office travelled to Bong and Grand Bassa counties to support response activities, adding that the teams supported the counties in the areas of Community Engagement and Risk Communication, Case Management, as well as Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), Dead Body Management, Environmental Management and Vector Control.