By Kebba Secka
The management of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) on Saturday fumigated all their ferries and terminals as social distancing is seemingly impossible on board.
The team that carried out the exercise was led by a public health officer Jam Camara. The fumigation is meant to disinfect the ferry from any potential virus to avoid contamination.Although, the exercise which includes putting in place hand washing containers is commended by the passengers, but social distancing still remains a physical challenge as most people are either not aware of the importance of social distancing while waiting to board the ferry or are reluctant to observe such precautionary measures advised by the World Health Organization. Senior officials of the GPA including deputy Managing Director, Hali Gai witnessed the fumigation exercise.In an interview with Foroyaa, Gai said the exercise is in line with the ministry of health’s advice for them to fumigate their ferries including all the departure halls and landing sites with a view ‘to protect our passengers from contaminating the coronavirus.’
“Following fumigation, ferry services will continue their normal service unless government imposes a policy and ask us to shut down,” said Hali Gai. He said the Management of GPA will continue to allow the ferry service to operate because the service is still needed by people.Jam Camara who doubles as a public health officer, said the GPA management needed to repeat the fumigation exercise every week.
Camara added: “We used nicotine and chlorine to fumigate the ferries. It is not harmful to human and that is why we are using it. The chemical we’re using is effective in killing bacteria and virus and is also recommended by WHO.” He said the virus can stay on a metal or plastic surface for a long period, but once it is fumigated, its whole negative effect is killed.