Liberia: Lawmaker Rebukes Health Minister Jallah

River Gee County electoral district #3 Representative Francis S. Dopoh, says call by the Minister of Health, Dr. WilehminaJallah for officials of government and the public at large to go for voluntary testing is a complete showoff.

According to him, the Minister's call is far from reality because there are no sufficient testing kits in the country, if citizens were to turn out in mass for testing.

Recently, Doctor Jallah led a team of health officials, including Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Francis Kateh and several foreign partners to the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville for voluntary testing, and called on the public to follow suit to know their health status in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We gather this morning to do our specimens collections in order to set examples for our citizens to follow", said the Health Minister.

She cautioned that if the coronavirus would leave Liberia, every citizen, beginning with officials must go for testing, something, which she noted, would build citizens' trust in the health system.

Doctor Jallah explained that the decision to lead an array of health officials, including the Country Representative of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization Country Representative to Liberia, Doctor Peter Clement, Liberia's Chief Medical Officer Doctor Francis Kateh, and the head of the USAID Mission, among others is to encourage the public to come forth to give their specimens for testing.

But Rep. Dopoh says he is no longer in support of total or partial lockdown, noting that the application of the lockdown is not proper, because there is huge turnout at banks and markets and the moment it is approaching 6:00 pm, they are running home.

Instead, he wants the Joint Security to assign officers at all markets and banks to enforce social distancing and other health measures rather than being in the streets.

Rep. Dopoh notes that banks and markets are overly populated each day, so the Joint Security, which comprises the police, immigration, DEA officers and the military should deploy at those institutions to ensure strict adherence to health protocols, especially social distancing.

The lawmaker argues it is meaningless to have the Joint Security in the streets, enforcing health protocols, while banks and markets are left alone.

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