By Patience Loum, Banjul, The Gambia – Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
Senegal, a country located in Sub-Saharan Africa has confirmed the first case of the Coronavirus disease COVID-19. This has left its neighbor, The Gambia, of which both share borders, devastated and terrified, sources told National Telegraph.
Senegal’s Health Minister, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr confirmed, Monday, March 2, 2020, making it the second case in West Africa after Nigeria announced confirmation.
This, however, brings it to seven cases of Coronavirus confirmed in Africa, in Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco and now Senegal. Another country rumored to have the virus is Cameroon but its health ministry has said nothing about the allegations.
According to Senegal’s Health Minister, the patient is a Frenchman, who lives in Senegal and flew back from France on February 26, 2020. The patient is now under quarantine in a hospital in Dakar, Senegal.
Mama Kandeh, leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), a political party in the Gambia, in a press statement urged the President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow to cut short his trip from the provinces.
He also implored the President to convene a cabinet meeting on the issue as soon as possible to mobilize all available resources and open every channel of communication in and outside the country to strongly face the deadly virus.
“The government must take a giant step towards securing all entry points to The Gambia and monitor the movement of people in and outside the country.
COVID-19 is deadly and an enemy to all of mankind, it is spreading so fast around the world and without any cure as at now”, he stated in a press release.
“The implication of such a virus to The Gambia will not only cause massive fear among people but also within a week or so can paralyze the few standing arsenals of our economy including tourism and the free movement of goods and services, he furthered.
Mama Kandeh also opined that The Gambia is a country so vulnerable due to its social and economic settings; being a cash economy, tight public transport system and other numerous social gatherings.