Gov’t urges travellers to Grand Maggal to adhere to health guidelines

Oct 5, 2020, 12:07 PM

The Gambia government has urged that those who are planning to travel to Senegal for the annual pilgrimage to adhere to the health guidelines to avoid contacting coronavirus disease.

“As the annual pilgrimage; the ‘Grand Maggal’ in memory of the late Sheihk Ahmadou Bamba of Touba, Senegal approaches, the public, especially, those planning to attend are hereby urged to adhere to the guidelines and quarantine protocols governing isolation and testing,” a news release from the Office of Government Spokesperson says.

“All are reminded that COVID 19 remains one of the most frequent cases of consultations at health facilities across our sub region. It is recommended that individuals at high risk for COVID-19 either due to their age or pre-existing medical conditions, like diabetes, hypertension and respiratory problems, refrain from public gatherings.

Therefore, based on its professional judgment, The Ministry of Health hereby discourages intending travellers from attending the “Maggal” as Senegal continues to battle COVID-19. 

However, those who defy this advisory shall provide respective negative PCR test results on COVID-19 within 72 hours upon their return before they are allowed re-entry into the country. Those who fail to provide negative PCR tests at the border entry points shall undergo mandatory quarantine at their own cost. The quarantine period, to be at Government recognized facilities only, could be up to 3 days and may cost some D6,900 or even more, depending on duration and individual circumstances. 

Accordingly, citizens and residents are hereby reminded that, “The Public Health Emergency Act (Dangerous Infectious Diseases) Protection Regulations, 2020” empowers the Minister of Health or Officers acting under his authority to institute strict measures as to when and where necessary. 

Therefore, the Ministry of Health urges all potential travellers to the “Maggal” to follow the due process required at all points and are encouraged to call the Ministry’s Toll-Free Number: 1025 for information regarding COVID-19.”