Saturday, September 19, 2020

Community Transmission Of Covid-19 Increasing Are You A Concerned Gambian?

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The Epidemiological and disease control unit has clearly indicated that, since 17th March 2020, the number of cases has risen to 3275, by 6th September 2020. The average age is 36. 57 percent of those infected are males and 43 percent females. 60 percent of those infected are below the age of 40 years. In the past the illness was associated with the elderly. It is becoming increasingly clear that the youth and the middle aged are becoming more of a target of the PANDEMIC. Social distancing among the under 40s is more difficult to observe.

Females between the age of 21- 30 and those below 20 are also more vulnerable compared to their male counterparts. The 138th national situation report reveals 99 deaths from COVID-19.

Those living with the illness, at greater health cost and more physical discomfort and psychological trauma are increasing. The attempt to promote more inclusion in testing by establishing open COVID-19 sample collection sites has not received commensurate response from the Public .Hence there is under-reporting of the degree of community transmission.

This enables asymptomatic infected persons to move about to infect more people due to inadequate handling of their infections. There is even denial by those diagnosed as COVID-19 carriers because of their asymptomatic status.

300 Frontline workers are reported to be trained for rapid response to do sample collection, contact tracing, sensitise communities and manage the patients. They are grappling with transportation problems , protection and livelihood issues and stigma.

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The frontline workers are enthusiastic and forward looking. They are handling cases of policy makers and legislators as well as permanent Secretaries. COVID-19 leaves no one behind. It is a threat to all.

Community transmission could only be reduced by stopping the denial and visiting the sample collection sites for voluntary testing. Test results must be accepted and advice adhered to when one is asymptomatic.

The Government should implement the recommendations of the unit in terms of making motorcycles and vehicles available to ferry clinicians to the treatment centres, provide proper site for the construction of a waste management plant to incinerate dangerous health waste , impose strict observance of the established preventive measures in all public places and above all give maximum protection to the frontline workers.

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