By: Kebba AF Touray
Suwaibou Touray, the National Assembly Member for Wuli East, has on Tuesday said the survival of the citizenry is at risk due to the outbreak of Coronavirus(COVID-19).
Touray told Parliament that the Coronavirus which spreads quickly is difficult to deal with, because it has no cure.
Touray said this statement while contributing to the report of the Parliamentary Health Committee on the level of preparedness to prevent COVID-19 in the country.
He said: “What is required really is to take appropriate procedure in containing the spread of the virus. I am questioning the committee’s recommendation of using Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital as a holding center for suspected cases”.
He said: “Since the virus spreads very quickly, am not sure whether our only major referral hospital should be a holding center for suspected cases of this contagious virus. Because once that is done, the virus stands a high chance of spreading very fast”.
He recommended: “My recommendation would be to look for a place completely separated from Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital. The recommendation of conducting testing should be reviewed because it should not be done at the hospital”.
On the procedure for suspected cases, he suggested that suspected persons be taken to a separate place for quarantine, adding that if affected people come into the country from affected countries and are allowed to mingle with people that can infect their neighbors.
Touray also challenged that wrapping foods in newspapers is not hygienic and is unsafe, adding that newspaper printing requires the use of chemicals, thus he decried that using newspapers to wrap food is unhealthy.
Touray added his voice to the committee’s recommendation on the need to re-inforce the health facilities at the border areas, noting that these are the first people one would come into contact with when one comes from affected areas.
He urged that the border heath facilities be supported to be able to implement preventive measures as they (health officers) are vulnerable when they meet with people from affected countries.
He also called for vigilance, sensitization and provision of protective masks at the ferry, weekly markets and entry points. These places, he said, are public places that need to be protected.
He challenged: “We must do our best to do our own and rely on our own resources and make sure that we take care of our country, even though efforts are being made to work with our Senegalese counterparts”.
He said there should be a standby ambulance and a treatment center in URR, where suspected persons can be evacuated to; saying “if you want to evacuate a suspected person all the way from URR to Banjul, the possibility of spreading the virus is high”.
He hailed the Committee for the report, which he said, has gone a long way in informing them about the dangers posed by the disease and the need to control the spread of COVID-19.