Health minister hails Gambia’s performance at containing covid-19

Jul 20, 2020, 11:41 AM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health has said that The Gambia right now has been one of the best performing countries when it comes to the containment of covid-19. He, however, admitted that even in the face of good performance, they struggled to contain the disease.

The Health minister was speaking on Friday, during the maiden edition of the inter-ministerial press conference held at the GRTS building.

The inter-ministerial press conference which was coordinated by the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure through the office of the government spokesperson is part of broader activities to articulate the programmes and activities of the government of The Gambia for citizens to make informed choices.

He further said that even though the country’s number of covid-19 cases is on the rise, it is still better compared with other African countries. He thus called on everyone to use it as an opportunity to maintain the level lower and not to be complacent about it.

“Covid-9 cases are on the rise in Africa and we have seen in the case of The Gambia, the number of cases is increasing. Local transmission is currently ongoing in The Gambia which people need to be aware of that,” he said

“The covid-19 pandemic started in China where we all have seen the incident. It moved to Europe and later to the Americas and now we have seen an increasing rate in our African continent,” he said, adding that “this tells us that covid-19 is not a joke.”

The country currently has 662 people in quarantine; 39 active cases and 4 deaths.

“There are 39 active cases and we have lost three of our covid-19 patients in the country. The impact of covid-19 is felt everywhere. The high incident keeps on shifting from one place to another.”

For his part, Ebrima Sillah, minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure who earlier spoke on behalf of Health Ministry during the press conference said that as part of efforts to effectively combat the covid-19 pandemic, the government of The Gambia has commenced paying honorarium to covid-19 frontline workers.

He added that an amount of D100 million has been put aside for these activities, noting that the frontline health workers have been categorised as low risk, moderate risk, high risk and high risk plus.

“The payment of the covid-19 honorarium to frontline health workers is part of the government's decision to supplement the good efforts that healthcare personnel are doing in this critical period. Government continues to be fully engaged in the fight against covid-19.

According to him, the Ministry of Health together with its partners is accelerating the public information campaign for the general public to be fully sensitised and conversant with the preventative rules set out by the WHO to protect themselves against the virus.