By Amadou Jadama & Mafugie Ceesay
The Minister of Health Ahmadou Lamin Samateh has disclosed that whereas The Gambia is yet to register a case of confirmed corona virus, a total of 355 people of interest have been followed with home isolation.
Addressing a much delayed press conference at his ministry in Banjul last night, Mr Samateh, flanked by senior health and WHO officials further revealed that out of the 355 people being monitored, 149 have completed follow-up checks without any symptoms while 206 are currently still under surveillance and none has shown symptoms thus far.
Minister Samateh went on to state that his ministry, with technical support from the WHO Country Office, has developed a national COVID – 19 preparedness plan (for one year) which has already been circulated to partners for possible support. The estimated cost of the plan is about 8.8 million USD.
“Whiles the COVID-19 plan was being developed, the ministry of health engaged in various activities such as raising awareness among the general workers and provision of supplies to points of entry. The ministry is constantly having information about arrival of visitors from the affected areas, and this has enabled a more strengthened surveillance at our points of entry,” he said. According to the minister various trainings have been organized for officers including public health, clinical health care, immigration, food safety and quality authority, phytosanitary, fire and rescue services and Gambia Revenue Authority on infection prevention, and control and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPEs).
”These training activities are being extended to all the public health facilities in the country and the private health facilities are also being engaged.All our hospitals have isolation rooms for use and there are plans to extend this to major and minor health centres. There are also two negative pressure rooms at MRC for similar usage at the disposal of the country. The treatment centre at the sanatorium is ready for use and ministry of health continues to have meetings, orientation of public health professionals and frequent visits to health facilities for supervisory or preparedness work,” he said.