MONROVIA, 17 June 2021 – Liberian officials are searching for nearly 140 people who tested positive for COVID-19 but have neither turned up for treatment nor have isolated.
Efforts to trace the patients have been unsuccessful so far, Liberia’s health minister Wilhelmina Jallah was cited Wednesday in media reports as confessing.
“They put down their names and telephone numbers [but] when we call the numbers, the numbers are fake or not their numbers; they are hiding from us,” Ms. Jallah told the BBC.
It is critical to trace those infected but hiding if we are to slow the spread of the pandemic, the minister added.
Some of those who have gone into hiding include individuals who had gone to obtain a COVID-19 test because they were planning to travel abroad.
News of the “missing COVID-positive patients” breaks as Liberian health officials confirmed that they have now detected more than 50 cases of the Delta variant of the virus first reported in India.
Liberia has so far confirmed 2,729 cases of COVID-19, including 2,105 full recoveries and 95 fatalities, according to online data published by the World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University Hospital.