6 health workers test positive for covid-19

Jul 16, 2020, 1:10 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

At least six health workers have been tested positive for covid-19, people closed to the Health Ministry told The Point.

This development brings The Gambia’s total number of covid-19 infections to 70 with three deaths.

In a separate development, the senior management of The Gambia’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday reached an agreement with members of the taskforce representing affected health care workers who were on a sit-down strike over unpaid allowances and other benefits from the government.

It has also been agreed that staff will resume work immediately.

Government also agreed not to victimize anyone because of the incident.

The frontline workers in The Gambia have been on sit-down strike since Friday as they protested to demand payment from the government.

Various units including laboratory which collects and tests samples of suspected individuals of coronavirus, quarantine centres as well as response team members were all shut down. 

The striking workers were demanding payment of D750 daily allowance dating from January 2020 and their other benefits.

The meeting held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Banjul resolved that government is working on health insurance for healthcare workers and any healthcare worker who suffers infection from covid-19, his/her family will get a compensation package and his/her children provided scholarship to first degree level in a public institution of learning in The Gambia.

According to the government, it has approved D100 million (20% of the covid-19 response funds) to be paid as honorarium to the health care staff.

The honorarium, government said, will be paid based on previously agreed risk stratification which was provided by their unit heads.

“The honorarium payment would continue as a one-off payment,” according to the government.

The ministry will continue to engage partners and explore other avenues for the possible additional support and enhancement of the covid-19 response.   

Government also agreed to provide feeding from the imprests paid to the team heads and each responder on duty given the cost of any meal that would have met the person on duty.

Furthermore, the government agreed to provide phone credit to responders that need it for the smooth operation of the service.

With regard to accommodation, the government agreed to provide laboratory, rapid response and contact tracing team members with accommodation.