EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: The Gambia has registered a significant increase in the number of people being quarantined for COVID-19, Modou Njie, Director of health promotion and education unit of the ministry of health informed journalists on Monday.
On Saturday, Mr Njie told journalists at their first daily briefing at the Central Medical Store in Kotu that the number of people being quarantined was 38 but at the second briefing on Monday, he said the number has increased to 131.
Gambia confirmed its first COVID-19 case on a 28-year-old female Gambian who arrived in the country on March 17 from the United Kingdom and went into self-isolation when she feels some abnormalities on her body. She contacted the Medical Research Council while in self-isolation and was later tested positive. She is said to have been in a stable condition receiving medical care.
Health minister Dr Ahmadu Lamin Samateh Sunday evening confirmed a second COVID-19 case in the country who is identified as a 70-year-old Bangladeshi man who entered the Gambia from Senegal on March 13, as a preacher and was resident at the Maracas center in Bundung, where he engaged in preaching and interacted with many other people.
Mr Njie said the man first reported to Bundung hospital with mild symptoms on March 19 and reported back there the following day Thursday with severe pneumonia life symptoms.
‘He was a non-diabetic and was referred to the Edward Francis Small Teaching hospital in Banjul but was brought in dead on March 20. Samples were collected on him at the hospital’s mortuary and transported to the Medical Research Council Gambia hospital on March 21 and the results were positive of coronavirus.’
On Saturday, Gambia government announced that it is closing the country’s border with Senegal, effective midnight, today Monday, after consultations and an update from the Ministerial Committee on the COVID-19.
It said the decision was taken considering the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the world and in ‘our’ region, and the continuous movement of people posing high risk of contracting the disease.
Public health response and outputs
Mr Njie further told journalists that as of the figures given at the Saturday briefing, the number of people who completed follow-up now stands at 310 with a cumulative suspected case of 13. “Contacts traced increased from 25 to 66, with one confirmed case added to the previous first one and one death. Cumulative total number of people tested is 21 with 18 negative test results.”
The health minister said in his Sunday statement that fourteen people who arrived in the country via the Airport had absconded from a quarantine centre that was arranged by his Ministry and went into the community who posed v serious health threat.
He warned that these individuals must return to the quarantine centre immediately failure of which will lead to the enforcement of the law.
Public health actions
The health promotion and education Director said public health actions have been initiated following confirmation which include incident manager and his team’s visit to the Markas center where the late Bangladeshi man had interacted with a number of people before going ill.