Gov’t plans to decentralize Coronavirus test


By Ndey Sowe

Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh on Wednesday, 25th March disclosed that the government wants to decentralize the Coronavirus test so that they are durable in provinces, so that patients in up country can be tested rather than moving from the provinces to the Kombos.

We have our team all over the country, and the health sector is such that we have regional teams, each health region has a complete team and each region is headed by a regional director.
He added that there is s team responsible for Coronavirus and they are working in very close collaboration with the Central Coordinating Team.

With regards to Personnel Protective Equipment (PPEs) in border posts and regions, he said they all have PPEs and we still have a lot other PPEs in stock and a lot of PPEs are arriving into the Gambia very soon. The Chinese Embassy, WHO, and the Chinese philanthropists are donating PPEs to the Gambia and other African countries.

“We are expecting those items here including test kits very soon in The Gambia. We don’t have ambulances at each border post or region but we have ambulances that can be called to go and collect the people.

He said the government has inherited a lab and it has recently being upgraded to BL3 which he said can equally do the test and they are getting additional materials to be able to do the test in all centers of the Gambia.

He said they are working on procurement of ambulances.

He pointed out that people quarantined are expected to be indoors, people should not have escaped from the first place, they should be law abiding and the quarantine centre is not a prison.

“We expect people to understand and abide by the rules and we were all surprised that people run away from such a thing, we thought they will be much concerned about their own welfare and that of their loved ones,” he said.

We urged the general public to be vigilant because the government cannot do it alone; people have to play their own role as all of us have a big role to play in this endeavour.
He added that community participation is very important and he urged people to report any suspect of the Coronavirus,” he lamented.

He said: “our steps are in the right direction and we are building capacity as well as procuring lots of equipment for the health sector.

He said that they will strengthen all the major hospitals and lab centres and there will be a lot of diagnosis equipment.