Health Authorities Seek Media Tie In Renewed Covid-19 Fight

Deputy Health Minister Dr. Francis Kateh has called for the involvement of the local media in order to adequately communicate with citizens and foreign residents as the country renews its fight against the Covid-19.

In Liberia, from 3 January 2020 to 10:56am CEST to  14 June 2021, there have been 2,484 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 93 deaths, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). As of 10 June 2021, a total of 64,129 vaccine doses have been administered.

Dr. Kateh spoke on Monday, June 14, 2021 at a one-day Round Table Partnership Meeting on Covid-19 Response between the Media and the Incident Management Systems (IMS) at the Health Ministry in Congo Town, Monrovia.

According to Dr. Kateh, the media is needed once again in that the country is highly hit with new cases, as 42 persons are in treatment units, while 27 are in critical conditions.

He said the work of the IMS and those involved in the renewed Covid-19 fight cannot be implemented in the absence of building an epic link.

“You (media) become a mirror to us because you are there to state whether we are doing a bad or good job. We will also appreciate the constructive criticisms,” Dr. Kateh stressed.

Dr. Kateh, who is also the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, disclosed in just a week, the government was able to uncover over 200 cases but lamented that it was needless for the country to reach this far following the efforts applied during the previous outbreak for which the country was praised by foreign partners.

For her part, Dr. Yatta Wapoe, Montserrado County Health Officer, said as of June 14, 2021, there were 349 cases but disclosed that the Health Ministry has decided to employ home based care using infections and prevention controls.

She stated that some individuals are adhering to health protocols while others are exposing their associates to the effects of the killer virus.

“People need to be responsible in the way they behave as we fight to save their lives. Please stay home so the team can monitor you. We will continue to investigate all cases and we need the police to help us reach out,” Dr. Wapoe mentioned.

On the engagement level, Assistant Minister for Vital Statistics, Chea Sanford Wesseh said there are key action points that the IMS will share with international partners that are involved with the Covid-19 response.

Stating that the response is strictly different from the structure of the Ministry of Health, Assistant Minister Wesseh made it known that the IMS will be engaging media stakeholders on a regular basis in order to succeed, adding that it must be done holistically.

As mentioned by the Assistant Minister for Vital Statistcis, kids are not eligible for the current Covid-19 vaccination and noted that the vaccination only prevents one from getting severe and critical cases but does not avoid anyone from contracting the virus.

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

It is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.

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