EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: President Adama Barrow addressed the nation on the global health threatening pandemic, Coronavirus Tuesday evening in which he announced that as at 15th March, 2020, a total of 355 people of interest have been followed, some of whom have been put on self-isolation in the country.
Mr Barrow said out of the number, 149 have completed check-ups without any symptoms of COVID-19, while 206 are still under surveillance. ‘Of the total seen, only 8 required laboratory testing, and their results were all negative. I take this opportunity to express my support to all those affected in one way or the other and to assure you of my government’s commitment to preventing any Coronavirus infection in the country.’
Earlier on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health falsified an information given to the Gambia Radio and Television Services by its Director of Health Promotion and Education regarding two suspected cases of coronavirus in the country.
It says the statement that president Adama Barrow will announce suspected two cases of coronavirus on two Indonesians who travel via Senegal into The Gambia was false and denied the idea that “the two suspects are currently being isolated at the Medical Research Council in Fajara.
The president said so far, there is no reported case of any Coronavirus infection in The Gambia but his Government remains complacent with surveillance teams at all major entry points into the country, whether by air or land.
He said since the World Health Organisation declared Coronavirus as a Public Health Emergency of International concern on 30th January, his government has been deeply concerned and, through the Ministry of Health, began alerting the Gambian public about the global outbreak of Coronavirus. ‘We immediately resolved to prevent, contain and manage COVID-19 cases in the country by raising public awareness through the media and orientating health workers, along other necessary preventive measures.’
Since the confirmation of the entry of the virus in neighboring Senegal, Gambians have been demanding for the government to impose closure of all borders and the airport to prevent it from reaching the country.
On Monday, Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Mamburey Njie updated the National Assembly and warned of economic downturn estimated close to one billion dalasi as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He compared the loss in revenue to a one-month collection of the Gambia Revenue Authority in the year 2020.
President Barrow said another important measure taken is to strengthen surveillance at the airport and at various points of entry along the Gambian border, encouraging the public to take sanitary measures, among other precautionary actions.
‘Isolation centres and rooms have been prepared also to deal with suspected cases at all major health centres.’
Making reference to regional and international trends, Mr Barrow said his government has taken extra precautionary measures to further strengthen the country’s ability to prevent any case of COVID-19, leading to the suspension of all non-essential travels by Government officials, including Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Managing Directors and Directors of all Ministries, Departments and Agents have been suspended.