Health Minister Strongly Recommends Use of Locally Made Face Mask


By Ndey Sowe

The Gambian Health Minister has strongly recommended the use of locally made face mask amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh made this recommendation on Friday, 17th April 2020 at a press briefing held at his office in Banjul on the current situation of the Coronavirus in the Gambia.

Dr. Samateh said: “Locally made face masks are proven to be effective. And as such, we encourage the general public to regularly wash these locally made reusable face masks and handle them with clean hands to avoid contamination.”

He added that countries where the use of face mask is widespread, have lower number of COVID-19 cases.

He explained that the use of the face mask will help to protect both the wearer and the people around him/her from contracting the Coronavirus.

He said: “We therefore strongly recommend the use of face mask for everyone going outdoors.”

“The ministry of health is intensifying testing for Coronavirus in the country”, he said, adding various communities and people in high risk areas will be tested by the health teams.

He therefore encouraged people to come forward to be tested, adding there has been increasing evidence that the use of the face mask has proven to be beneficial in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

He disclosed that they have been coordinating daily meetings at both strategic and technical levels.

“Five additional people have been taken into quarantine. Two of these are Gambia military officers who returned from Egypt; 1 is a Senegalese national who was intercepted at the Jiboro Border Post whilst trying to sneak into the country and 2 are Qurantic students from Senegal,” he disclosed.

He averred that with the brief lull so far in the reporting of new confirmed cases, there is a significant reduction in the number of calls to the 1025 hotline and currently, the country has 6 active cases and no probable case.