#LOCKDOWN IN MONROVIA, HOW CAN IT POSSIBLY WORK WITHOUT STARVING ITS INHABITANTS?

Alphonso Toweh
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#Background
The Noval Coronavirus is expected to increase in Monrovia due to the poor observance of health and safety procedures by most inhabitants. Some people are still doubtful of the virus in the Country. The only possible remedy to curtail the spread of the virus is lockdown Monrovia City and limit movement and possible transmission.
The virus spreads through a triangular link between the #host, #transmission and #pathogens. The Host is the sick person or animal that is already infected with the virus. They spread the virus through transmission. The transmission process includes spreading the virus through coughing, sneezing, or by infecting items through physical contact. Anybody there after if making contact with your mouth, eyes or nose. The pathogens are the virus itself. In short, if this chain between the Host, transmission and pathogens is broken, the virus can be controlled and it’s spread mitigated. 
According to World Health Organization, People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene (washing of hands) and good respiratory hygiene (wearing of mask).
CNN reported that a prestigious scientific panel told the White House that research shows coronavirus can be spread not just by sneezes or coughs, but also just by talking, or possibly even just breathing.
“While the current [coronavirus] specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing,” according to the letter, written by Dr. Harvey Fineberg, chairman of a committee with the National Academy of Sciences in the USA.
Fineberg told CNN that he will start wearing a mask when he goes to the grocery store.
“I’m not going to wear a surgical mask, because clinicians need those,” said Fineberg, former dean of the Harvard School of Public Health. “But I have a nice western-style bandana I might wear. Or I have a balaclava. I have some pretty nice options.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, told CNN Tuesday that the idea of recommending broad use of masks in the US to prevent the spread of coronavirus is under “very active discussion” by the group.
If Liberia can learn from these Experts ‘s advise and constantly and persistently wear mask in closed ventilated areas and public places, this could just lead to the major source of breaking the chain of transmission in this Country.
Therefore, the best way to break the chain of transmission is  LOCKDOWN Monrovia and institute a law that will obligate constant wearing of MASK by all citizens during this pandemic crisis.
LOCKDOWN AND ITS CHALLENGES IN MONROVIA.
LOCKDOWN may vary from one society to another. Lockdown methods in the west and developed world may not be applicable in a third world underdeveloped Country like Liberia. For example, citizens in the west have the advantage of 24hrs electricity where they can store food for days without it decaying, internet banking to carry on financial transactions without physically making any movement, delivery services and stimulous budgets to help ease financial challenges and limit mobility.
This method is not applicable in undeveloped Countries and war ravished Countries like Liberia were basic social services is still recuperating. Any attempt to stockpile food especially vegetables will spoil in the first few days. More to that, many people don’t even have a saving account before even mentioning if money is within those accounts. More than 60% of our population live on “hand to mouth” syndrome where someone has to go out to hustle (sell or cut contract) before finding earns meet for that day.
 Such people in a lockdown situation without means of mobility might just be a death sentence. The second category of people are those who have money but no storage facility/capacity due to unstable electricity. They will need to get food on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there  is no known delivery services where someone can sit home and order.
 Therefore, lockdown in Monrovia could be the best way to break the chain of transmission, but if best method to suit the Liberia’s scenario is not instilled, it might lead to devastating consequences.
HOW TO LOCKDOWN MONROVIA WITH MINIMUM OR NO CATASTROPHIC IMPACT?
Government Lockdown method could include the following measures to limit transmission of the virus:
1. That all public market places including stores be closed.
2. That access to the main streets be closed with security order to arrest and detain all violators.
3. That all business transactions be limited in the communities in open air areas, preferably infront one’s house. For example, every seller sell infront their own house while community dwellers buy from them.
4. That all sellers have compulsory hand washing buckets or hand sanitizer for every buyer.
5. That wearing mask be declared compulsory for everyone seen in the public.
6. That every government Ministries and agencies provide vehicles to transport all essential staff to and Flo work.
7. That all essential staff have an approved tag or pass from their entities.
8. That all essential staff wear mask compulsorily in and out of their offices at all time.
9. That Government try to test all sick persons and extract those tested positively for Covid-19 and quarantine their household.
10. That this lockdown period last for 21 days. 
11. That free and regular electricity and water be provided to areas already connected by LEC and LWSC.
In conclusion, if these stringent measures are adhere to, Liberia might just set records by eliminating the virus
Written by: Abdu S. Mulibah President emaritus Nimba University Student Association_UL 2010- 2012

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About Post Author

Alphonso Toweh

Alphonso Toweh Alphonso has  been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.
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