By Patience Loum, Banjul, The Gambia – Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
The Gambia has doubled its efforts to track down fourteen persons who escaped from quarantine, National Telegraph has confirmed.
The Ministry of Health reported a case involving 14 individuals who traveled from the UK to The Gambia and fled quarantine on Wednesday, March 19, 2020.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference at Kotu, in Gambia’s Kombo Saint Mary District, in the West Coast Region, Friday, March 20, 2020, the Director of Health Promotion, Modou Njai said the action of the fourteen persons is against the public health act.
He went on to say that they will face the full force of the law once they’re caught. It’s just like somebody taken to prison and the person jumped and went away and the person is caught,” he said.
Njai said they do not know whether the travelers are infected with the virus or not, “Perhaps if they have it, then the people they have contracted with, meaning they have just come to pass the disease to people who are not even infected… these are innocent people”
Flights from a total of 13 European countries to the Gambia have been canceled as a result of the pressure being put on the Government to close all Gambian borders as a precautionary measure against the Coronavirus outbreak.
“The 4th Cabinet session chaired by President Adama Barrow has been updated on the COVID-19 situation in the country. An immediate decision was taken that flights from thirteen countries are suspended with immediate effect until further notice,” a statement from the State House in Banjul indicated.
The statement also adds that the decision follows the recommendation of the Health Experts Committee concerning the recent development on COVID-19.
The Gambia has suspended flights from the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Belgium, and Portugal.
An update from the Ministry of Health informed says there are currently 124 people quarantined at various locations, seventeen absconded from quarantine centers posing a great risk to their families and the general public.
“These individuals are instructed to report back to the quarantine sites immediately. Failure to do so will lead to enforcement of the law which may include arresting them,” a statement from the Ministry reads.
So far, two cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed and one died. The Ministry of Health announced on Sunday, March 22, 2020, that a 70-year-old Bangladeshi man tested positive for the Coronavirus had passed away after traveling in the country for a preaching mission.