Authorities at Liberia’s Ministry of Health has disclosed that over 138 persons, confirmed to have the coronavirus and were undergoing home care observation, have escaped from their homes at different locations in the capital Monrovia.
Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah, in a regular government COVID-19 update to Liberians, said the government is running against time to locate the patients.
“As we speak, we are running against time to locate the 138 persons whose results have returned positive following the test given. We administered the test to them, and suggested they go home and wait for their results; and when the results came last weekend, we went after them through addresses they provided, but sadly didn’t meet anyone,” Jallah explained.
According to her, the whereabouts of the patients make the situation difficult for the government in its response to curb the surging cases of the virus in the country as of last week. Jallah revealed that confirmed cases rose from 171 as of Thursday to 200 on Monday, June 14, 2021.
She said about 120,000 tests have been conducted, with 2,482 confirmed as of Monday, 28 cases in treatment units, and 89 cases being managed in home-based care. Meanwhile, 2,058 people have recovered.
“There is an active investigation on new cases and their contacts. This includes active case finding, testing and contact tracing,” Minister Jallah said.
The Health Minister stressed the importance for the public to voluntarily avail themselves for testing and vaccination, with the first phase of the AstraZeneca vaccine being conducted at designated locations across the country.
More than 70,000 of the approximately 5 million populations including foreign nationals have been vaccinated across the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have reached Liberia in March 2020.
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.
The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.