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Coronavirus hits Liberia, callous gov’t official first victim

MONROVIA, Liberia – The deadly coronavirus has hit Liberia, with the first victim being a Liberian government, the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) executive director, Nathaniel Blama as the first victim.

According to health authorities contracted the virus during a visit to Switzerland recently. Upon arrival in Liberia, health workers stationed at the Roberts International Airport outside of the capital, Monrovia examined the EPA boss and found that he was tested positive for the virus.

Instead of listening and following the instruction of the health workers, the EPA boss refused to be isolated and quarantined.  He then drove directly to his residence. 

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The health workers then contacted senior officials of the Ministry of Health, including the deputy of minister of Health for Technical Services Dr. Kateh and Liberia National Institute of Public Health’s Executive Director, Dr. Fallah.

Both Dr. Kateh and Dr. Fallah immediately reached out to the EPA boss and urged him to follow the mandate of the health workers.

 The health workers later drove to the residence of EPA’s boss to take him for medical treatment. Rather than following the health workers in their ambulance, the recalcitrant EPA boss boarded his private vehicle and drove away.

Amid these poorly calculated moves by the EPA boss, Liberia’s President George M. Weah addressed the country on the situation.

In his address, the Liberian leader urged his fellow Liberians and residents to abide by the mandates of the country’s health authorities to control and defeat the menace.  Adding, “Together we fought Ebola, and together we will fight the coronavirus.”

President Weah also specifically warned officials of the Liberian to strictly adhere to the directives of health officials as they strive to combat the spread of the coronavirus.  

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.
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