CPP Raises Serious Alarm on Spread of COVID 19 -Proposes for National Leadership Steering Committee

The opposition bloc, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) has spoken out against the new wave of the outbreak of Delta Variant of the Covid 19 in the country saying that Liberia without the resources and capacity to fight and control its population has a high percentage of illiteracy and low income generation, risk losing many lives and drowning the economy even deeper problems.

The party made its position known yesterday, Tuesday, June 23, 2021 through a press statement signed by its current chairperson, Senator Mrs. Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence who bemoaned the missed opportunities of the country to put a significant halt to the spread of the pandemic and now has to be running away, probably aimlessly to find solutions to the crisis.

“Two years ago, our country was hit by the COVID 19 Pandemic. We pulled through reasonably well with the internal system of vigilance and the support of our international partners. We were fortunate to have been one of the countries with low numbers of confirmed cases, rate of transmission and deaths. Travel restrictions from high-infected countries as well as stringent travel standards globally combined with fewer or no flights coming to our airports were contributory.

Due to the reduction in cases, the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) relaxed the protocols, let down the guards that were put in place to control the spread and concentrated only on testing for travels which is a global requirement. Most unfortunately, testing of passengers at the international airport, including of travelers from highly-infected countries, has been very disappointing with increasing lack of coordination, improper screening and tracking processes, and especially, the failure to give results to “tested” incoming passengers” the statement said.

“As a result, many passengers have entered Liberia from countries that are heavily hit with the new strain and deadlier kind of the virus. Today, the virus is spreading uncontrollably and we have lost many lives. Our people are still dying and hospitals are rejecting patients with other illnesses because we are incapacitated and have no rapid response testing and screening procedures to distinguish COVID from other illnesses”, the statement continued.

As a way of reversing the almost helpless challenges facing the country, the opposition bloc recommended 11 measures which it believes will provide some solutions to the crisis. Among some of the recommendations put forward are that, the government secures or work with international partners to get rapid testing and credible results at the airport and at all hospitals, that the hospitals institute effective triage and screening procedures to distinguish between Covid 19 and other illnesses, contact tracing and testing in high hit communities and counties should commence immediately.

Other measures are counties that are reporting cases should be locked down to counties that do not have cases to avoid the rapid spread of the virus nationwide, that the government should negotiate for more vaccines and create more vaccine centers with aggressive awareness and that the Ministry of Information in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to craft a public relations plan and use all the community radio stations on the country for nationwide awareness

Four of the last recommendations include that travelers from countries that are highly-infected with the virus should not be allowed entry into the country, reduce overcrowding at the airport and other public places including of work by directing that non-essential workers stay home while arrival, pick up and departure areas be restricted for less congestion and improved coordination, immediately reactive all centers previously used for COVID with coordinated plans for monitoring and contact tracing , the Ministries of Health and Finance to report on the US$75 collected from departing and arriving passengers and present a plan for the usage of the funds and that the legislature reviews plan from the Ministry of Health and make quick interventions for appropriation in priority areas.

“Finally, we call on President George M. Weah to create a National Leadership Steering Committee bringing together political, religious, traditional and community leaders, as well as leaders of the business community and private sector to provide broader national coordination, participation and a sense of shared ownership of the national crisis. This will also improve public confidence. If there is a time to come together for our country and our people, the time is now! We urge the President to show leadership”, the statement concluded.

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