The Covid-19 disease entered the shores of the Gambia when the first confirmed positive case of infection was registered at a health facility on the 17 March, 2020 which unfortunately turned out to be fatal. Since this first case and until recently, the country had been registering positive cases requiring hospitalisation and treatment.
It was initially projected that Gambia will experience a surge or significant increase in Covid 19 infections around the end of June, this year, and which was later shifted to the end of this month of July.
Honourable Speaker, there are indications of the increase in the rate and frequency of infections. Not only are we now registering more positive cases of Covid-19 infections but also a rise in the death toll now numbering three.
The country has now started registering local or community transmissions where the source of infection is not known.
Considering the highly infectious nature of the Covid-9 disease, the health care workers, who are in the frontline at the health facilities, screening, tracing, testing and overseeing treatment centres, are exposed to infection during the course of their work, in responding to the pandemic.
It is a national tragedy that the Gambia had to lose three precious lives with the third and most recent being a health care worker who also succumbed to Covid-19 in the line of duty a few days ago.
Honourable Speaker, as a sign of respect and recognition for his service to people as a health care worker, I would request, on behalf of our Select Committee on Health that you invite the National Assembly Members to observe one minute of silence in honour of this fallen hero, the late Mao Ceesay. This gesture is to remind Gambians that COVID-19 is a killer that requires the strict observation of WHO takeaways of physical distancing, hand washing or sanitization and face masks aimed at self- defense against the illness and to prevent transmission as well as to further demonstrate that the lawmakers have recognised and acknowledged the role and invaluable work of health care personnel as live savers who are even sacrificing their lives for others to live.
On this note, I beg to take my seat.Ousman Sillah
National Assembly Member
Banjul North Constituency