The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Tolbert Nyenswah Advises On Fight Against COVID-19

The former Deputy Minister of Health for Disease Surveillance, Tolbert Nyenswah, is accusing the Weah-led Government of doing less to tackle the deadly coronavirus that is fast spreading across the entire globe.Speaking via telephone from the United States of America, Minister Nyenswah said, unlike in 2014 when the Ebola virus took over 11,000 lives, the coronavirus which has claimed over a 100, 000 lives should not be taken for granted, thus describing it as a deadly virus that needs urgent attention through a collaborating effort.
He further stated that as a Minister and head of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia then, he and other health authorities were able to put in place proper mechanisms which saw the eradication of the Ebola virus from Liberia.
According to him, their mandate in 2014 when the Ebola virus broke out was to formulate a system which was vigorously worked through to conquer Ebola virus which affected mainly the Mano River Union countries.
He said, part of his mandate was to only report to the Chief Executive, the then President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on key health issues adding, “I only reported to the President at the time, not to any Minister or Deputy Minister.”
Minister Nyenswah frowned on the methods being used by the current officials at the Ministry of Health for downplaying the system set-up by him and others during the Ebola epidemic which according to him could have been used to put Liberia ahead of other countries in the region.
“The Ministry should not have struggled with setting up a new system because during the time when we were there, we trained several epidemiologists; so, to see the current administration struggling for contact tracers is unbelievable; to say the least,” he stated.
“We are dealing with an outbreak which needs the same kind of structure and the same kind of system; the difference between Ebola and the coronavirus is that Covid-19 is spread mainly by droplets and other things like having closed contact with infected persons, which are things that are not different from Ebola because the Ebola was mainly bodily contacts and also touching an affected person,” he stated.
Minister Nyenswah also frowned at the President’s lockdown exercise, saying it is not workable for African countries. “What works for the United States, China and South Korea could not be workable for us. Our health system is not the same; here, in America, you can go to grocery stores and get anything you want, but you can’t keep someone in West Point in Monrovia for those number of days; it is impossible, people are unemployed they have to go to the Redlight or Duala before they find food to eat,” he explained.
“We had the same lockdown during the Ebola; you remember the West Point and Dolo Town scenarios where the military was deployed and even the incidence at West Point? By now, Liberia should be ahead of most of the countries and Liberians should be celebrating for the system it had in place,” he averred.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.