By Ndey Sowe
Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health, has called for respect and enforcement of the border closure, as this will help in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He said this during question and answer session, shortly after the regular press briefing on the situation of COVID-19, at his office in Banjul.
He continued: “We know the borders are porous and we know there are parts of villages in the Gambia and other parts in Senegal, this is the nature of the situation”.
He added that there is need to enlighten the people that the borders are closed and they should respect that.
He also stressed that the official border points are controlled by the various security personnel to enforce the closure of the border.
He said: “The unofficial border points are the challenge, we all know it is challenging to control those points and there is hope there would be patrols, we expect patrols at those various points.”
He added the Interior Ministry and the various sister agencies are working on ensuring that there are patrols at other areas to make sure that other entry points are closed as well.
“This is a big challenge between the Gambia and Senegal as controlling the entire border is going to be very difficult, but we will to continue the sensitization that the borders are closed so that there will be no entry to the unofficial border points”, he said.
“We will continue to be vigilant and we will monitor the people who come into our communities”, adding that the communities should help the enforcement agencies towards the enforcement of the border closure as well as those in the towns.
He averred that government did not close the border because they enjoy border closure, but this is an important step in the struggle against COVID-19.
“Preparedness is a process, you do what you can with regards to what is within your resources and when cases come, you deal with them as and when they come”, he said.
He said they are getting a lot of equipment to bolster their level of preparedness.
He said their strategies are been prop up and they are trying to increase their capabilities in dealing with cases as and when they arrive.
He added: “We are fixing the treatment center and other centers are in preparation just in case the treatment center is full and we need to use other facilities, which are still ongoing”, said Minister Samateh.
It could be recalled that the Gambia and Senegal have announced that they have mutually agreed to close their borders for a period of 21 days in a bid to control the spread of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19).