By Julius Konton & J. Titus Yekeryan
After several months of being on the alert and keeping surveillance in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Bong County has finally confirmed its first COVID-19 Case.
According to the County Health Officer, Dr. Adolphus Yeiah, the confirmed case came after the completion of a test result from the National Reference Lab early Thursday Morning June 4, 2020.
Dr. Yeiah told our reporter that the patient specimen was on June 3, 2020 taken to the Lab before final result was announced on today after conducting series of Lab tests.
“We have been preparing for this a long time though it’s not something you will wish for but due to the outbreak in neighbors counties. Namely; Margibi, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties.
We have been surrounded by affected counties, it was just a matter of time but we are up to the task to contain the further spread of the Virus in the County,”
the Bong County health boss noted.
In a bid to avoid stigma, Dr. Yeiah withheld the patient’s name but disclosed that the patient is male, age 52, who died at his residence in Sugar Hill Community, in Gbarnga City, Bong County.
Currently, the county has eight active contacts and are working robustly to ensure they avoid the further spread of the disease.
As part of their preparedness, he told our reporter that they have surveillance team working in the field as well as social mobilization team to identify precautionary observation center in a move to help combat the virus.
He used the occasion to call on national Government and other citizens of Bong County to help the respective teams currently on the field with logistic and other essential materials to ensure that they function properly and effectively.
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in central Liberia came just a week after Health authorities led by Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, NPHIL Director General Dr. Mosoka Fallah and other health officials toured the county to assess its readiness as well as preparedness in the case of a confirmed COVID-19 cases something that is now a reality today.
Unlike before, Bong County had series of suspected cases but all were tested negative but not until today as the health official in the County encouraged his people to abide by all of the health protocols in order to save lives.
Bong County inclusion into COVID-19 confirmed cases now brings the number of Counties in Liberia who have the virus to eleven including: Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Gee, Sinoe and Bong.
Meanwhile, as of June 3, 2020, Liberia has 321 confirmed cases, 28 deaths 175 recoveries and 118 active cases respectively.
Though the number is rapidly increasing and with the virus gradually covering the entire fifteen political sub divisions of the Country, there is on the other hand a visible change in attitude among the people unlike before abiding by the health protocols as far as the virus is concern in Liberia.
Some of the citizens who spoke with KMTV after the County Health Team pronouncement expressed fear that it is a very challenging time for such news. Peter Binda, a Gbarnga based Motorcyclist, said he is worried about the situation and he hopes that his Colleges will do all they can to adhering to the health protocols.
“I want to call on my friends (Motorcyclists ) to be very careful. This is not time for making too much money so let us all abide by what the health workers and the Police are telling us; no taking more than one person on a motorbike,“
Gbarngo Tuahyah, a local fish dealer, told our Correspondent that she will soon leave with her Children to the farm. “I don’t have partner, I am selling fish to support my children so with this kind of news, there is no need to remain here.
I think it’s better to live on the farm until things become okay in the city,” she maintained. As part of efforts to inform the public about the preventive measures of the virus, Dr. Yeiah wants the people of Bong County not to panic, as the County Health Team applies efforts to contain the virus.
“There is no need for the people to worry, this is not about worrying it is about putting to practice what the Health Authorities are saying. As Healthy Workers, we are only worried about those who still doubting that Covid 19 is not in Liberia at all but I am sure that they will soon get to understand the truth that the virus is real and is here,” he concludes.