Another Covid-19 Wave Expected in January 2022- Says Director of Health Services


By Ndey Sowe

Dr. Mustapha Bittaye, the Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, has disclosed on Tuesday, 30th November, 2021 that the Gambia is expecting another wave on Covid-19 in January 2022.

Dr. Bittaye made this disclosure during the handing over of oxygen concentrators by the Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) to identified hospitals through the ministry of health to support Covid-19 treatment in The Gambia.

“Manufacturing of these oxygen concentrators takes a while and our next wave is expected just here in January 2022,” Dr. Bittaye indicated.

He said in Covid, the demand for oxygen can be very high and as a ministry, they have a long-term plan, saying the Gambia government is working on getting oxygen plans for different facilities.

Covid-19 outbreak has resulted in both public health and humanitarian crises, affecting the lives, health and livelihoods of many people around the world. Since 17 March, 2020 when the first case of Covid-19 was reported in The Gambia, the government introduced a series of containment and restriction measures to curb the Covid-19 outbreak in The Gambia.

The introduction of the Covid-19 vaccination in The Gambia has made the government relax most of the restrictions while the preventive measures and treatment continue to be in place.

As at December 3rd, 2021, the Gambia recorded 9,992 Coronavirus cases, death at 342 and recovery at 9,640.

“It’s too early to let our guard down”, UNICEF warned as more people continue to disregard Covid-19 protocols.

Widespread belief that the pandemic is over and sharp decline in the use of face masks despite a surge in cases in The Gambia.

Following two years of strong growth, at 6.1% in 2019 and 7.2% in 2018, The Gambia’s economy has been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to stagnate in 2020 due to trade disruption and the fall in tourism, according to the first World Bank Economic Update for The Gambia released today.

Declining incomes, rising food prices, and school closures resulting from the health crisis took a toll on the livelihoods of many households. The economy is expected to gradually rebound in 2021 if the pandemic recedes and the global economy starts to recover.

Research also indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding border closures have severely impacted the fragile economy of The Gambia. Pandemic responses are affecting trade, which accounts for 25% of imported goods and exported earnings, and the valuable tourism industry, which provides an income to 42,000 Gambian people. Hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions have all been affected by the complete standstill of the tourist industry.