A Liberian senior official who recently returned from a foreign trip has been confirmed as the first case of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the west African country, the government said on Monday.
Nathaniel Blama, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, tested positive upon his return from Switzerland on March 13, said Eugene Nagbe, the Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism, in a statement made available to Xinhua in Monrovia.
Liberian President George Weah has been officially informed of the development, the statement said.
Weah, while addressing the nation following the development, announced measures that will be put in place to curtail further the COVID-19 infection in the country.
Among other measures being taken, the Liberian leader placed a ban on people coming from countries where there are over 200 or more confirmed COVID 19 cases.
“We have moved from the precautionary stage, to the containment stage. I asked all Liberians to practice good hygiene, and to report anyone with strange behavior,” Weah said.
He also said the local Civil Service Agency has been instructed to grant “pay leave” for non-essential government workers and called on religious institutions and schools, among others, to ensure regular hand washing for everyone’s safety. Enditem