Health Minister cautions Gambians not to be Complacent of COVID- 19


By Ndey Sowe

The Gambia’s Minister of Health has cautioned Gambians not to be complacent about the Coronavirus outbreak in the country saying the number of cases can still rise.

“The country registered 9 cases so far, that is why we keep on emphasizing that we should not be complacent,” Samateh said.

He added: “Many countries started with few cases before having huge cases.”

Samateh, who said COVID-19 is a reality, urged every person to be vigilant and to make sure preventive measures are respected by all.

“Our health system is weak and we pray we don’t get a hundred thousand infections”, he said, adding “when you talk about hundred thousand infections that is the overall number of infections, but not even all those will be symptomatic”.

He added: “I think the important thing is the strengthening of the health system, trained people and put forward strategies to be able to deal with high number of cases.”

He said 20% of cases are symptomatic and 80% asymptomatic, but even with these, it is a huge number. He said there is a projection which suggests if The Gambia reaches the peak, “we expect three thousand hospitalizations, which is a huge number.”

“We are trying to get thousand hospital beds ready just for emergency, and to increase the number as and when we need them,” he said.

He noted: “We are mobilizing the equipment.”

He added that they are getting prepared and that they are not complacent and having 9 cases will not stop them from strengthening their response.