The Gambia’s Health Minister Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, has on Friday 7 February 2020, informed National Assembly Select Committee on Health that six Gambian returnees from China were under observation for coronavirus.
However, he added: “These people do not meet the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) suspected case definition.”
Dr. Samateh, who was giving updates on the novel corona virus before legislators, said no suspected case has been reported in The Gambia. “Three Chinese nationals in Upper River Region (URR) travelled to China but one came back well and is asked by the Chinese Embassy to stay indoors under strict surveillance in Basse by the RHD.”
“Two Gambian students returned and both of them under close watch and in contact with the surveillance units. One Chinese national suspected at Sharab Medical Clinic and evacuated to MRC (arrived 12/1/20, onset date 2/2/20) now discharged because it does not satisfy the case definition; currently, 6 people are under observation due to recent travel to China,” he further informed.
Dr. Samateh added that no confirmed case of novel coronavirus has been reported in Africa. The only known African to have contracted the disease is a 21 year old Cameroonian studying in China.
According to him, Global situation since 31 December 2019 and as of 5 February 2020, a total of 20, 680 laboratory confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection have been reported (3241 new cases).
Amadou Camara, National Assembly member for Nianija and member to the committee has stated that constitutional provision gives the president a mandate to use 1% of the national budget for emergency purposes.
Members of the committee accordingly, encouraged the health officials to include emergency budget in their budget as it will be supported by the committee during the budget session at the Assembly.
The committee therefore advised them to continue doing the good work for the best interest of the country.
Author: Ismaila Sonko
Source: Culled from The Point newspaper