#Article (Archive)

What next after first case of COVID-19?

Mar 19, 2020, 11:24 AM

As the global coronavirus outbreak continues to upend daily life, China has shown that while it may not be stopped, it can be controlled.

The whole world including Gambia is learning daily from other countries, a key lesson that must be learned is that sustained control of COVID-19 requires speed, supplies and transparency.

It is very necessary for Gambian authorities not to lower guide just because the country is not struggling yet to contain the spread of the virus. Neither should it display inability to procurer testing kits, increase screening and quarantine facilities across the country’s entry points.

However, the time for blame game has past. We must strengthen our surveillance across all entry points – from the land, air and sea. The government must take a hard-earn decision to ban flights from all affected countries temporarily so as to effectively control the spread of the virus.

Commentators believe the first reported case of COVID-19 is due to complacency. However, diligent efforts must be harness to trace all contacts made by “case-one” since her arrival in Gambia.

In whatever manner responses the President had given could be calculated as being a bit of hide-and-seek. This is because response had been slow, resource mobilisation inadequate and political courage minimal.

Until yesterday, one month after the first case was reported in Dakar, the country was kept in the dark and measures to stop the spread remain uncertain.

Coronavirus has created a state of confusion, a disorder that would be felt in the national economy and could also plunge daily activities deeply into a state of panic.

It is not yet lost; the Chinese attempt at containing the spread of the virus is succeeding. Two months from the first reported cases, the number of daily infections is gradually reducing. The Chinese had demonstrated lot of political courage and transparency and the Gambia need to learn from them. The fight has just begun against the COVID-19 and Gambia needs to move with speed provide gargets needed to stop the spread.

At this height of the virus marching forcefully into Gambia,“harr ko si kanam” could too dangerous and will not help with the fight against the pandemic.

“If they’re all getting infected and getting sick, we lose one of the most important ways to stop people from dying.”