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City of Banjul
Sunday, September 27, 2020

After the strike, it is important to resume daily Covid-19 updates asap

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The industrial action embarked on by Covid-19 frontline workers a week ago was, without any denying, a threat to the country’s fight against the deadly coronavirus.

The country’s Covid-19 vanguard staff downed their tools and deserted the frontlines in an apparent frustration over welfare issues. But as the front-linersagitated for a daily D750 allowance back-dating January,health insurance and accommodation, grim reports of a breakdown in the operation of Covid-19 Incidence Command in Kotu have been emerging. The command centre was behind key and lock all through the strike. Laboratory technicians were unable to collect samples and their inability to draw samples had left Covid-19 suspects in quandary as they could not be admitted for treatment. The strike action has also left some, who completed their mandatory quarantine, holed up in various centres.

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Now, it would appear the storm has dissipated as some striking frontline workers have reportedly returned to their duty stations after reaching an agreement with the authorities. However, it would go without saying that desertion of Covid-19 frontline constitutes a health hazard and should be avoided in the interest of safe-guarding public health.

Notwithstanding the low-level spreadof Covid-19 in the country, the fact that the virus continues to cause tragedy across the globe accentuates the need for reinforcement of our Covid-19 control interventions. We actually needn’t look further afield to fathom the industrial-scale devastation that this pandemic had visited the globe. And as if WHO prediction about Africa becoming another epicenter of Covid-19 outbreak is threateningly becoming tangible, the continent is witnessing an astronomic rise in Corona virus cases and fatalities. Senegal, our next-border neighbor, has now tragically recorded over 150 Covid-19 deaths with over 2600 on the treatment table. And the numbers are on the rise! Not only there, but other countries in the sub-region such as Nigeria and Ghana are also experiencing upsurges in cases and fatalities.

Since the protest started a week ago, the public has not been getting regular updates on the situation of the virus in the country. This is worrying and needs to be fixed asap.

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