42 days Counting starts after last discharged case- NERC CEO
Thursday May 14, 2015
NERC Chief Executive Officer of National Ebola Response Centre Retired Major Palo Conteh yesterday said that the Government never knew that the counting to 42 days should start after the last ebola patient is discharged or dies.
“We all at NERC, the President and Ministers thought that we should start counting from the first day we attain zero case, it is only now that WHO is telling us that we have to wait till the last ebola case is discharged or dies. It is news to us.”
The CEO said currently they have four ebola patients in the facilities and that there is a scare at Krootown Town Road where a man ‘escaped’ from Moa Wharf where it is said that his girlfriend had contracted the disease. “Instead of him waiting to be treated, as he had been line-listed, he left and came back to his home, where he was being treated secretly until he reached the wet condition or worse stage.
“When he was picked up, his condition was so bad, he was vomiting blood. His chances of survival is very low. This is what I have been preaching for months now that we must not hide but call 117 when someone is sick.”
Rtd. Maj. Palo Conteh also stressed the point that they are still reviewing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for burials.
He said in the coming days they will come out with the new SOP. “But for now people should still comply with the laws on burial until they hear from us.”
The NERC CEO averred that last week, it was only two cases that were recorded, which he said is the lowest ever recorded in the country. He urged all to continue to follow the guidelines, so that ebola can be a thing of the past in the country.
CEO Palo Conteh said because the virus is now coming to an end, NERC he said, will relocate soon, as well as downsizing the staff.
He appealed to all the staff that they should understand that the ebola job was temporary and they all should know that it will come to an end someday.
He congratulated Liberia for reaching 42 days and stated that when President Johnson Sirleaf was on BBC, she made it clear that as long as Guinea and Sierra Leone continue to record cases, Liberia will remain at risk.
“Western Area Rural, Port Loko and Koinadugu Districts have also gone 21 days without recording a new case. If this trend continues in those Districts, it means within few weeks they would also reach the 42 days margin. Kambia District and Moa Wharf in the Western Area Urban, which have been the only hotspots for the past three weeks have also gone eight and seven days respectively without recording a new case. I call on them to remain vigilant and even more robust in their drive to keep ebola out of their districts.”
He said there are people in quarantine in the Western Area, Port Loko and Kambia, but they should be optimistic and be mindful that it is possible that some of those in quarantine may become positive. “Which is why it is important that we remain committed to the fight, honest with the case investigators and vigilant in our communities, until we end all quarantine in our communities and discharge or bury the last case of ebola.