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City of Banjul
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Covid-19 frontline workers’ strike causes chaos

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By Omar Bah

The sit-down strike by Covid-19 frontline workers has caused chaos in the country’s structures to control the spread of the virus.

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Unconfirmed reports revealed that the entire incident command for Covid-19 at Kotu was shut down and there was no sample collection by the lab staff, leaving people who have completed their mandatory quarantine period stranded while those suspected of Covid-19 couldn’t be admitted for treatment.

The striking workers were demanding the senior management of the Ministry of Health to pay a D750 daily allowance dating from January 2020 and their health insurance and accommodation.

But the director of health promotion at the Ministry of Health, Modou Njai told The Standard yesterday that his ministry has reached an agreement with the striking workers.
“Some of them have started today (Tuesday) and the remainder will resume Wednesday morning (today). They are now waiting for the commitment letter from the ministry of health which will be shared with all their platforms,” Njai said.

Asked about the latest development of Covid-19 cases, Njai said he was not in position to give accurate information about the latest because he was not in town. Meanwhile the Gambia police yesterday announced it is working to arrest a Covid-19 patient who escaped in Manjai Kunda.

“On Saturday 11th July 2020, a team of health workers with Police support visited the home of the patient for isolation and treatment. During the visit, the family members of the patient interfered and obstructed the personnel leading to the escape of the patient.
The fleeing patient, name withheld is believed to be in his early 30s. Members of the public who may have information about the patient are urged to contact1025 or the nearest police station for his apprehension and isolation at the treatment center.

Covid-19 is a pandemic disease which spreads rapidly and therefore it should be the concern of all to ensure that support is given to health workers for positive cases to be quickly isolated for treatment.

Individuals are advised that obstruction or interference of these Public officials whilst on duty amounts to an offence and those found wanting will be dealt with according to law,” the police statement said.

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