Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health has on Sunday began inspection of the country’s entry points following the outbreak of the Novel Corona Virus recently in China. The virus is spreading very fast and the World Health Organisation had already declared it a global health emergency last week.
The Health minister visited the Banjul International Airport, the country’s entry point to assess the country’s level of preparedness, among other issues.
Last week, the Ministry of Health conducted orientation session for Points of Entry staff and clinicians on the Novel Corona Virus. The orientation provides an update on the Novel Corona Virus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China. The orientation, which took place at the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre Conference Hall at the Central Medical Stores Complex, Kotu, is part of the recommendation of the recently concluded meeting to map out the way forward for the effective implementation of Novel Corona Virus disease interventions. The Health Minister gave the directive for the orientation for points of entry staff from Health, Agriculture, Customs Department, Food Safety and Quality Authority and the Immigration Department to be conducted.
Below is a copy of the press release from the Health ministry, on the minister’s visit to the airport;
The Hon. Minister of Health Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh is currently at the Banjul International Airport to assess the situation regarding the level of preparedness on the Novel Coronavirus. The Hon. Minister also used the opportunity to assess the functionality of the thermographic camera stationed at the Public Health Office at the airport to screen all incoming passengers.
The Hon. Minister expressed delight on what has been seen on the ground. He also thanked the authorities at the Gambia Civil Aviation and the Gambia Immigration Department for the hard work and dedication, collaboration and partnership demonstrated with the Public Health Office at the Airport. He encourages the active participation of all stakeholders and the general public in the fight against the Novel Coronavirus from entering in The Gambia.
The Hon. Minister was at the airport to witness the airport formalities and procedures put in place to screen incoming passengers from SN Brussels, Air Senegal and he is currently waiting to receive incoming passengers from ASKY airlines.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, The Gambia Immigration Department and The Gambia Revenue Authority are working closely to screen all incoming passengers. During this process they also provide the passengers with sanitizers for the safety of the passengers and their immediate contacts.
The Ministry or Health solicits the support of the general public in its preparedness efforts and that there is no need for panic or alarm at this stage. The Ministry will always provide credible information from credible sources such as the World Health Organization, West Africa Health Organisation and Africa Centre for Disease Control regarding the Novel Coronavirus as and when it is available.
All other Points of Entry will be visited by the Hon. Minister to determine the level of preparedness and the gains registered in coming days.
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Written by The Digest