By Makutu Manneh
Gambians from Saudi Arabia have on Tuesday refuted Gambia Government’s claim they escaped from quarantine.
Jabbie Sakiou was one of the Gambians studying at the University of ‘Ummu Al Gura’ in Saudi Arabia who returned in the Gambia on 30th July 2020.
A publication was made on the Ministry Of Health’s Facebook page about these students escaping quarantine upon their arrival in The Gambia.
Jabbie said his name was mentioned in that publication and that what was written there was false because they did not run away from quarantine. He said it was the government who failed in their duties.
He expressed that the publication of their names by the Health Ministry was a violation of their human rights.
Jabbie further explained that since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic, they have been undergoing quarantine for about five months in Saudi before they came back to their country. And also they have their certificates which showed they tested negative for Coronavirus.
Jabbie said before they came into the country, an arrangement was made between them and the transport union for a bus to pick them up from the Senegalese airport and that the Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs and Health gave them clearance paper.
He said 52 of them joined that particular bus. Adding when they started to move they called the Ministry of Health informing them about their coming.
“This process we went through the first batch, second batch and third batch did not go through as we were the fourth batch to come back home,” he said.
He narrated that when they reached the boarder at Farafenni, to their surprise they did not find any of the Health Ministry personal waiting for them.
That they met Immigration officers, who already had their details and told them that they were to undergo quarantine at Badala Park, a place that none did them or the Immigration officers knew.
He said they later contacted the Ministry and they were told to proceed with their journey as they would meet them at Brikama, but the same thing occurred when they arrived at the said place.
He said this made them to be frustrated as they were tired, so some of them started going to their various home.
Jabbie said their mediator contacted the Ministry of Health and spoke to one Mr. Jatta informing them that the students had gone to their respective homes.
He said they wanted for the Ministry to tell them where they can go and what they have to do, but got nothing from them.
“For more than one week they did not contact us, so we see it as they are no more interested. On 11th August the Ministry posted on their Facebook page that we escaped from quarantine and saying that it was 18 students, when we were 52,” he told Foroyaa.
He said when they contacted the Ministry, they were told that it was not them and they later realized it was the COVID-19 response team.
“These students later went to Badala Park and their samples were taken and they stay there on quarantine to wait for their result. All the students came out negative of COVID-19,” he said.