-Health authorities say as the death toll has risen to 4
Barely a day after President George Weah announced a state of emergency in an effort to contain the further spread of the deadly Coronavirus, health authorities have confirmed 17 more cases with one of them already dead.
Appearing on a late afternoon show on ELBC (state radio) Wednesday, April 8, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said due to more tests conducted in some parts of Montserrado, seventeen (17) persons have tested positive and one of them has died from COVID-19.
Although the details are yet to be known about the latest confirmed cases, it is speculated that hundreds, if not thousands, may test positive in the coming days should there be massive tests carried out across Montserrado, its environs, Margibi County and a few other counties.
With the death of another COVID-19 patient yesterday, the death toll has risen from 3 to 4 as reported by Dr. Jallah.
Dr. Mosoka Fallah, head of NPHIL, has overtime worked closely with government through the Health Ministry and other partners in ensuring that there is more awareness for people to appreciate and implement the preventive measures daily in order to help in the containment of the spread of the deadly virus disease.
Liberia, one of the countries hardest hit in 2014 by the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), has yet another catastrophe to contend with; most especially with less or very limited hope of any solution or assistance from any other country, including the United States of America (its traditional lead helper).
Unlike the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), today's pandemic has hit almost every country on the face of the earth, with even more advanced countries suffering more casualties.
COVID-19 has changed the lifestyles of people and terribly invaded many cultures without any regard for personality, nationality, creed or color.
It may be recalled that in recent interviews held with Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, he predicted that there would be more confirmed cases discovered in the country if there were massive and proper tests conducted across the country.
Dr. Nyan, a Liberian infectious disease scientist residing in the U.S., said in one of the interviews on Truth Breakfast radio talk show, that there is much to fear if the number of confirmed cases in the country rises beyond controlled measures.
"With the very fragile health system and lack of trust of government's own actions in containing the spread of the virus, I fear that it may be chaotic with our population back home," he said in a phone-in interview.
As of yesterday, 1,491,829 cases were confirmed positive with 87,458 deaths reported, while 319,064 recoveries globally were reported.
The United States of America, currently the world's COVID-19 epicenter, has reported 418,451 cases confirmed positive with 18,116 of the cases confirmed and reported yesterday (single day).
With 1,399 deaths reported yesterday in the U.S., the country's total number of death cases has risen to 14,240.
Next in line for being hardly hit by the pandemic are Spain, Italy, France, and Germany. China, the original epicenter has so far recorded no case in several days since its last strive in Wuhan Province to contain and eliminate the disease.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and several other international media outlets, including print, have reported that China and Cuba are now helping Italy and Spain in the fight against the COVID-19.
State of Emergency in Liberia, will it help?
It is not clear whether or not President Weah's state of emergency will be approved by the joint chambers of the 54th Legislature, Liberians, mainly the less privileged are worried about how they will survive in the absence of any stimulus package from the government.
"Therefore, by the authority granted to me under Articles 85, 86, 87, and 88 of the Liberian Constitution, and after due consultation with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, as required by law, I, George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, hereby declare a State of Emergency, to exist in and throughout the Republic of Liberia, for a period of three (3) weeks, renewable until the threat to Liberia from the COVID-19 virus no longer exists," President Weah said in his address to the nation yesterday.
However, as earlier said by Dr. Nyan, many residents across Monrovia and its environs fear that hunger might kill them instead of COVID-19 due to the lack of money to access food and several other basic needs.
President Weah further said in his address that marketplaces will have to close at 3:00 pm while the restriction of the movements of people from Montserrado, Nimba, Grand Kru, and Margibi to other parts of the country are completely discouraged and disallowed.
Weah said from 11:59 pm to 6:00 am, no one, except the security personnel, health workers and others approved to be out in the streets across the country, no one else will be allowed to move from one place to another in the course of the three weeks of the state of emergency beginning Friday, April 10, 2020.
Clearly, the government has announced no plan to help any segment of the population with a stimulus package except that President Weah has said that every household will be allowed to designate one person to go out in search of food and other items, daily.