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COVID: Liberia's hospitals brace for surge in admissions

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Abbas Dulleh/AP

Liberia

In the capital Monrovia, Redemption hospital is on the frontline as a new rise in coronavirus cases threatens to overwhelm Liberia's health system.

Used to providing less complex care to residents of New Kru Town, the facility has found itself admitting Covi-19 patients in recent weeks.

" It was almost like I was giving up… my breath because it started from home. When it first started, I was alone. Like I was lying down, I wanted to blow my nose and it turned out to a different thing," said a recovering patient who did not give her name.

Liberia has posted 3,794 infections and 123 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began.

Authorities have administered at least 82,212 doses of COVID vaccines so far.

Redemption hospital's director says the facility is adjusting to provide care, but it still lacks the capacity to test for the virus.

"Those patients that come to us and we suspect that they are presenting with signs and symptoms of Covid, we isolate them and take their specimen. Since we can’t do the testing here, send those samples to the national lab and then they give us the results. So far we have had five positive cases being admitted in our isolation," said Dr. Williamatta Williams Gibson, the medical director.

The hospital has begun producing oxygen as shortages of the vital product begin to bite in the west African country.

While Liberia's health system took epidemic management experience from the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, experts have warned that the speed and scale of coronavirus are much bigger.

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