2020 coronavirus pandemic in Liberia

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Liberia in March 2020.

2020 coronavirus pandemic in Liberia
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
First outbreakWuhan, China
Index caseMargibi County
Arrival date16 March 2020
(3 weeks and 2 days)
Confirmed cases31[1]


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.[2][3]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[4][5] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[6][4]


March 2020Edit

On 16 March, the first case in Liberia was confirmed, a government official who traveled from Switzerland.[7] President George Weah controversially named the person, and claimed they violated screening protocols at Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Harbel.[8]

The second case was confirmed on 17 March, a close contact of the first case.[9]

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.[10][11]

On 24 March, neighboring Ivory Coast announced it closed land borders with Liberia and Guinea in a measure to contain COVID-19.[12]

On 27 March, the U.S. Embassy evacuated some U.S. citizens from Liberia.[13] On 1 April, the European Union organized a charter flight evacuating its citizens.[14]

April 2020Edit

Liberia reported its first death on 4 April.[15]

On April 7, 2020, 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. Broh is noted for her pragmatic approach to problem solving.[16] [17] Some experts are questioning Broh's ability to effectively coordinate the Conora Virus pandemic response given that she has no experience in public health protocols.However,Broh's appointment is said to been as a result of recommendations from the United Nations, particularly the World Health Organization. [18]


Liberia was one of the first countries to start screening passengers for COVID-19 at airports.[11]

Schools were closed across the country, and churches, mosques, bars, and beaches in parts of the country.[11]

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.[14]

President George Weah on Wednesday, April 8,2020 declared a State of Emergency which is expected to take effect on Friday, April 10, 2020 and will remain in force for about three weeks. President Weah declared:

“Therefore, by the authority granted to me under Articles 85, 86, 87 and 88 of the Liberian Constitution and after due consultation with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate as required by law, I, George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, hereby, declare a State of Emergency to exist in and throughout the Republic of Liberia for a period of three weeks renewable until the threat to Liberia from the COVID-19 Virus no longer exists.” [19]

Later during the day, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) recorded a record increase in the number of confirmed cases from 14 to 31, an increase on 17 new cases. It is also reported that one deaths was recorded bringing the total deaths to 4. [20]

Humanitarian aidEdit

On 18 March 2020, China donated medical supplies to Liberia.[21]


  1. ^ "National Public Health Institute of Liberia-NPHIL". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  2. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  3. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. ^ "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  6. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Liberia Records First Case of Coronavirus; Health Authorities Hold Emergency Meeting". FrontPageAfrica. 16 March 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  8. ^ Liberia's First COVID-19 Case Eclipsed By True Lies By William Q. Harmon And Robin Dopoe, Daily Observer, 17 Mar 2020
  9. ^ AfricaNews (17 March 2020). "Liberia's index case refused COVID-19 quarantine, his worker now infected". Africanews. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  10. ^ Liberia Confirms Third Coronavirus Case, Contacts Tracing Underway By Rodney Sieh, FrontPage Africa, 20 March 2020
  11. ^ a b c "Liberia braces for coronavirus with defunct health system". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Ivory Coast Closes Borders with Liberia, Guinea Due to the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease". FrontPageAfrica. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Liberia: U.S. Embassy Evacuates Citizens from Liberia amid Covid-19 Pandemic". FrontPageAfrica. 26 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Liberia: COVID-19 Positive Flees into Hiding Due to Fear of Stigmatization". FrontPageAfrica. 7 April 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  15. ^ "National Public Health Institute of Liberia-NPHIL". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  16. ^ "President Weah Appoints Mary Broh to Coordinate Coronavirus Response".
  17. ^ https://frontpageafricaonline.com/front-slider/president-weah-appoints-mary-broh-to-coordinate-coronavirus-response/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ http://liberiapublicradio.com/2020/04/07/mary-broh-finda-bundoo-appointed-to-head-national-coronavirus-response-team/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ https://frontpageafricaonline.com/front-slider/liberia-president-weah-announces-3-weeks-state-of-emergency/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ https://www.facebook.com/National-Public-Health-Institute-of-Liberia-NPHIL-164280647325112/?ref=page_internal&eid=ARDkf-dmB3HTB4GCwLRo2eud1LrUMGkk7vwBc3sWF5TtqXdyOQsWqnBLvmdjLvvl-ASWk29HalETKIgO&hc_ref=ARRnt2PhtflXK3mwiPUYXydIohuejToCREa-DCG9_qHZYLtqywiINBOEdInotGu7CWY&fref=nf&__xts__[0]=68.ARDbcxSN0udXAVe4OS49AXVuF4TDe4NTDh9ro5WSKGI2PTuqD5Sx7hXTJmGDHpbie0X9SPZKeCWGTnibZ3QW9uCOABHNVsdmAMW77ypb09R8pbcJ3wd0NHbNy0EmDFMijxTZyLlkWnEJwWoBM-FMU2VzWqGE8yQXUgTYHOfMSWSbCk1wMpiBarloA_AoZRuxHervISoCxpp9A1j-tSXr2lvwAM2YM86fximTJ6z-5OO9772EvZUCiJ6aKhmxh0hJTyKcLV-y13zAoBfKFedNG7R2BGTGGuiP65UO0xjGvb7u9wH4_y6nIthm5J7af6jXsaP1lmF26wKKvByUhWRvi_c&path=%2FNational-Public-Health-Institute-of-Liberia-NPHIL-164280647325112%2F. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "China Donates PPEs To Help Combat COVID-19 In Liberia". Liberian News Agency. 19 March 2020.