Health authorities in Liberia have reportedly invited the National Security Agency “to screen” the phones of laboratory technicians because of coronavirus test results leaking to the public, the independent Monrovia’s OK-FM has reported.

Quoting technicians, the station reported that the action became necessary when news spread on social media that President George Weah had tested positive for the virus, information that the president’s office has since denied.

News about the president’s Covid-19 status spread after the ministers of justice and information tested positive of the virus.

But the president’s chief of staff Nathaniel McGill has phoned into radio programs saying “the president is healthy”.

The head of the National Public Institute, the institution leading the Covid-19 fight, Dr Mosoka Fallah, declined to comment on the involvement of state security in screening the phones of lab technicians.

He told OK-FM “we are taking every measure to ensure patients’ confidentiality”.