COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia

Last updated

COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Liberia by counties.svg
Map of the COVID-19 outbreak in Liberia by counties (as of 4 May 2021)
  1,000+ Confirmed cases
  100–999 Confirmed cases
  50–99 Confirmed cases
  10–49 Confirmed cases
  1–9 Confirmed cases
Disease COVID-19
Virus strain SARS-CoV-2
Location Liberia
First outbreak Wuhan, China
Index case Margibi County
Arrival date16 March 2020
(1 year, 7 months and 1 day)
Confirmed cases5,803 [1] (updated 17 October 2021)
Deaths
286 [1] (updated 17 October 2021)
Government website
https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Government-Organization/National-Public-Health-Institute-of-Liberia-NPHIL-164280647325112/

The COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have reached Liberia in March 2020. [2]

Contents

Background

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019. [3] [4]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, [5] [6] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll. [7] [5]

Timeline

March 2020

On 16 March, the first case in Liberia was confirmed, a government official who traveled from Switzerland. [8] President George Weah controversially named the person, and claimed they violated screening protocols at Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Harbel. [9]

The second case was confirmed on 17 March, a close contact of the first case. [10]

Liberia's third case of COVID-19 was confirmed on 20 March. The third person was a returned traveler. Following this third case, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare declared a national health emergency on 22 March. [11] [12]

On 24 March, neighboring Ivory Coast announced it closed land borders with Liberia and Guinea in a measure to contain COVID-19. [13]

On 27 March, the U.S. Embassy evacuated some U.S. citizens from Liberia. [14]

At the end of the month all three cases remained active. [15]

April 2020

Liberia reported its first death on 4 April. [16]

On 5 April, the German Embassy together with the European Union organized a charter flight evacuating its citizens. [17]

On 7 April, President George Weah appointed a new National Response Coordinator for the Executive Committee on Coronavirus. The committee will be headed by former mayor of the City of Monrovia, Madam Mary Broh. [18] [19] Some experts questioned Broh's ability to effectively coordinate the pandemic response given her inexperience in public health protocols. However, her appointment was noted to have been as a result of recommendations from the United Nations, particularly the World Health Organization. [20] [17]

On 8 April, President George Weah declared lock-down measures to take effect on April 10 and last for 3 weeks, including suspension of all non-essential travel and curfews. [21] Schools were closed across the country, and churches, mosques, bars, and beaches in parts of the country. [12] The National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) recorded a record increase in the number of confirmed cases from 14 to 31, an increase of 17 new cases. They also reported 1 more death.

On 21 April, Liberia's legislature wrote a resolution requiring the public to wear masks in public. Enforcement of the law is unclear. [22] As of that date, 29 confirmed cases were healthcare workers (out of 101 total confirmed cases). [23]

During the month there were 138 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 141. There were 45 recoveries and 16 deaths, leaving 80 active cases at the end of the month. [24]

May 2020

There were 147 new cases in May, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 288. Eleven patients died, raising the total death toll to 27. The number of recovered patients rose by 112 to 157, leaving 104 active cases at the end of the month. [25]

June 2020

On 22 June, President George Weah extended the state of emergency by 30 days. [26]

During the month, there were 492 new cases, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 780. The death toll rose by 9 to 36. By the end of the month 324 patients had recovered, leaving 420 active cases. [27]

July 2020

The state of emergency was lifted on 12 July. [28]

There were 406 new cases in July, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1186. The death toll more than doubled to 75. The number of recovered patients increased by 346 to 670, leaving 441 active cases at the end of the month, an increase by 5% from the previous month. [29] Model-based simulations indicate that the confidence interval for the time-varying reproduction number R t was below 1.0 from July to September. [30]

August 2020

There were 118 new cases in August, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1304. The death toll increased by 10% to 82. There were 350 active cases at the end of the month (a decrease by 21% from the end of July). [31]

September 2020

There were 39 new cases in September, bringing the total number of cases to 1343. The death toll remained unchanged. The number of recovered patients increased to 1221, leaving 40 active cases at the end of the month. [32]

October 2020

There were 83 new cases in October, bringing the total number of cases to 1426. The death toll remained unchanged. The number of recovered patients increased to 1279, leaving 65 active cases at the end of the month. [33]

November 2020

There were 169 new cases in November, bringing the total number of cases to 1595. The death toll rose to 83. The number of recovered patients increased to 1343, leaving 169 active cases at the end of the month. [34]

December 2020

There were 205 new cases in December, taking the total number of cases to 1800. The death toll remained unchanged. The number of recovered patients increased to 1406, leaving 311 active cases at the end of the month. [35]

January 2021

There were 139 new cases in January, taking the total number of cases to 1939. The death toll rose to 84. The number of recovered patients increased to 1760, leaving 95 active cases at the end of the month. [36]

February 2021

There were 75 new cases in February, taking the total number of cases to 2014. The death toll rose to 85. The number of recovered patients increased to 1884, leaving 45 active cases at the end of the month. [37]

March 2021

There were 28 new cases in March, taking the total number of cases to 2042. The death toll remained unchanged. The number of recovered patients increased to 1899, leaving 58 active cases at the end of the month. [38]

April 2021

Vaccination started on 1 April, initially with 96,000 doses of AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine provided through the COVAX pillar. Two weeks into the vaccination campaign, 2735 persons had received their first inoculation. [39]

There were 57 new cases in April, taking the total number of cases to 2099. The death toll remained unchanged. The number of recovered patients increased to 1949, leaving 65 active cases at the end of the month. [40]

May 2021

There were 80 new cases in May, taking the total number of cases to 2179. The death toll rose to 86. The number of recovered patients increased to 2033, leaving 60 active cases at the end of the month. [41]

June 2021

There were 1721 new cases in June, raising the total number of cases to 3900. The death toll rose to 127. The number of recovered patients increased to 2315, leaving 1458 active cases at the end of the month. [42]

July 2021

Liberia took delivery on 25 July of 302,400 doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States. [43]

There were 1504 new cases in July, raising the total number of cases to 5404. The death toll rose to 148. The number of recovered patients increased to 2715, leaving 2541 active cases at the end of the month. [44]

August 2021

There were 190 new cases in August, raising the total number of cases to 5594. The death toll rose to 245. The number of recovered patients increased to 5240, leaving 109 active cases at the end of the month. [45]

September 2021

There were 205 new cases in September, raising the total number of cases to 5799. The death toll rose to 286. The number of recovered patients increased to 5458, leaving 55 active cases at the end of the month. [46]

Statistics

Confirmed new cases per day

Confirmed deaths per day

Response

Liberia was one of the first countries to start screening passengers for COVID-19 at airports. [12] However, initially it had just one or two functioning PCR analysis devices. [28]

On 18 March, China donated medical supplies to Liberia. [47]

On 13 April, the International Monetary Fund granted Liberia debt service relief, of an unknown amount. [48]

There has been controversy in the country over whether people with infections should be named. The National Public Health Institute of Liberia's policy was to not release names of people with infections to reduce stigmatization and protect privacy, but other government officials (President George Weah, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe) have advocated for releasing names for better contact tracing. [49]

See also

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