After Predicting Liberia’s 3rd COVID-19 Wave, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan says New Strategy and Enforcement Needed in Pandemic Response
MONROVIA, LIBERIA – In early May this year, infectious disease scientist, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan, alerted Liberian health authorities and predicted the possibility of “circulating COVID-19 variants from India coming into Liberia,” but authorities may have ignored warnings from the acclaimed scientist.
During his COVID-19 public awareness, Dr. Nyan warned that, “with trade and movement of people between India-China and Liberia, we could get the double-mutant Indian [SARS-CoV-2] variant coming here [Liberia].”
“The government has been too relaxed, and now needs new strategies, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the public health regulations in Liberia for this COVID-19 pandemic to be defeated,” Dr. Nyan said during two separate interviews on Liberia Public Radio-TV and Focus on Liberia TV this week.
He emphasized that Liberia’s national pandemic response and vaccination roll-out plans be redesigned, made transparent and include professional expertise in order to mount an effect fight against COVID-19 in Liberia.
Asked by journalist on FOL-TV as to whether he is willing to go back to Liberia to assist, Dr. Nyan again offered to help with the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia and hopes government will respond this time.
There has been numerous speculations that Dr. Nyan’s previous offers to develop Liberia’s COVID-19 testing kits and help with the pandemic response have been rejected by the Liberian government because of his critical expert scientific review of the country’s pandemic response as well as his stance against corruption, constitutional violations, and human rights abuses in the West African country.
An acclaimed scientist, medical doctor and inventor, Dr. Nyan is also a political activist who has advocated for democracy and social justice in Liberia over the years against past and the present government(s).
In the past three weeks, Liberia has experienced an astronomical spike in COVID-19 cases, registering about 50 to 75 cases at one time, and having one of the highest rates of infection in the West African sub-region.
Recent reports revealed that up to about a hundred COVID-19 positive patients who entered the country several days ago could not be accounted for, while treatment centers are exceeding capacities in a already weak health care system where health workers lack protective equipment and are underpaid.
“The international airport which is the first line of surveillance and pandemic defense is very porous and lacks rapid testing capacity, thus letting in possible COVID-19 -infected travelers into the country without proper mechanism for contact-tracing,” Dr. Nyan noted.
He stressed the need for rapid testing at the airport so that arriving travels who test positive can be immediately isolated and committed to treatment and monitoring.
Noting recent statements of politicians, Dr. Nyan emphasized that, “this national and global COVID-19 health emergency should not be turned into a political carrot by politicians who are now enticing each other, while the ordinary people and voters are dying.”
The award-winning scientist added that, “we need to adopt a collective patriotic approach that is devoid of politics and supported by a good budgetary allocation so as to defeat the pandemic.”
The Liberian scientist who in May this year accurately predicted the current wave of COVID-19 infections in Liberia also said that, “the $15,000.00 given to each lawmaker for constituency engagement could have been used for the pandemic response and other pressing social issues in the country.”
Addressing public hesitancy during his vaccination awareness campaign in Liberia in early April and May this year, Dr. Nyan emphasized that “the vaccines are safe, efficient, and free and I encourage every eligible person to take the COVID-19 vaccine.”
“We [population] need to be vaccinated in order to break the transmission of the virus [COVID-19], and prevent being infected by the COVID-19 variants that are circulating,” he added.
Dr. Nyan is the globally acclaimed inventor of the US patented multiplex infectious disease diagnostic test, the “Nyan-Test,” which has won numerous awards and recognitions. He is an NIH-trained infectious disease scientist and serves with Maryland Medical Reserve Corp in the US pandemic response. He is Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of his biotech start-up company, Shufflex Biomed.