World Health Organization confident about Liberia’s Capacity to contain Future COVID-19 Threat
The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in Monrovia has expressed confidence in Liberia’s capacity to contain any future threat posed by COVID-19.
WHO Country Representative, Dr. Peter Clement, told ELBC Super Morning Show recently that the Health Ministry has put into place a health system to suppress the disease from re-emergence.
Dr. Clement said:” The WHO will continue monitoring Liberia, after demonstrating great success against public health diseases, including the Coronavirus”.
He is at the same time recommending national capacity sustainability for early preparedness against any future outbreak.
Dr. Peter Clement also called on health authorities to ensure the integration of the vaccination program, and continued community engagement, among others.
The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is a global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identified in an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. Attempts to contain it there failed, allowing the virus to spread to other areas of Asia and later worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020, and began referring to it as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 15 May 2023, the pandemic had caused 765,902,514 cases and 6,927,365 confirmed deaths, making it one of the deadliest in history.
COVID-19 symptoms range from undetectable to deadly, but most commonly include fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Severe illness is more likely in elderly patients and those with certain underlying medical conditions. COVID-19 transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles containing the virus. The risk of breathing these in is highest when people are in close proximity, but they can be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors. Transmission can also occur if contaminated fluids reach the eyes, nose, or mouth, or, more rarely, through contaminated surfaces. Infected individuals are typically contagious for 10 days and can spread the virus even if they do not develop symptoms. Mutations have produced many strains (variants) with varying degrees of infectivity and virulence.
The COVID-19 vaccines have been approved and widely distributed in various countries since December 2020. According to a June 2022 study, COVID-19 vaccines prevented an additional 14.4 million to 19.8 million deaths in 185 countries and territories from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021. Other preventive measures include social distancing, wearing masks, improving ventilation and air filtration, and quarantining those who have been exposed or are infected. Treatments include novel antiviral drugs and symptom control. Common public health mitigation measures during the emergency phase included travel restrictions, lockdowns, business restrictions and closures, workplace hazard controls, mask mandates, quarantines, testing systems, and contact tracing of the infected, which, together with treatments, served to bring about the control of the pandemic.
The pandemic has triggered severe social and economic disruption around the world, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression. Widespread supply shortages, including food shortages, were caused by supply chain disruptions and panic buying. Reduced human activity led to an unprecedented decrease in pollution. Educational institutions and public areas were partially or fully closed in many jurisdictions, and many events were cancelled or postponed during 2020 and 2021. Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media, and political tensions have intensified. The pandemic has raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health imperatives and individual rights.
The WHO ended its declaration of COVID-19 being a global health emergency on 5 May 2023, but continued to refer to it as a pandemic. Prior to this, some countries had already transitioned their public health approach towards regarding COVID-19 as an endemic disease.