Health Ministry pushes for suspension of all congregational prayers

Director of Health & Promotion

By Ndey Sowe

The Ministry of Health wants the Executive to order for the suspension of all congregational prayers in the country.

This request came after the kingdom of Saudi Arabia banned congregational prayers in mosques and sequel to the Gambia Government’s confirmation of the first death as a result of Coronavirus on Sunday evening involving a 70-Year old male Bangladeshi national.

Modou Njai- Director of Health Promotion at the Ministry of Health said their next step is the fumigation and shutdown of Markaz where second case was identified as well as shift work of 1025 hotline handlers, contact tracers, RRT member, and other EOC members.

He lamented that funds are yet to be released for COVID 19 coordination and response.

He added they will develop and implement the use of daily call logs and the expansion of COVID 19 testing facility to the NPHL BL3 Laboratory and also Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) for quarantine to be disseminated and implemented.

He averred that they will develop a rapid assessment tool for the upcoming nationwide assessment of isolation centers, health facilities and Points of Entries (POEs), adding this assessment tool will be shared with other committees for their input to capture their needs.
He said they will continue with tracing contacts of the second person including mortuary attendants, line listing, quarantine and testing of suspects that met case definition.

“Plans are on the way to quarantine all staff that have contact with the deceased and fumigation of Bundung Maternity Hospital, EFSTH Mortuary, and the ambulance that carried the corpse”, he said.

He explained that SOP for sample reporting system to be developed and implemented with immediate effect. He added SOP for burial will be developed and disseminated as well as training of drivers, mortuary attendants, personnel responsible for Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) and quarantine center security on COVID 19.

Serign Modou Joof- Deputy Executive Director National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) who doubles as Coordinator of the COVID 19 Taskforce reminds the general public that they will continue to see people coming to them to lodge complaints.

He added: “if you think there is a suspect that you were in contact with, dial the number 1025 and tell us who you are, where you are and we will come for you”, adding suspects should not join public vehicles to meet them, this he said will create more problems.

He said the reason why all these contacts have been created is to ensure that things are well coordinated at their end.