Gambia to increase surveillance against new Covid-19 variant

Gambia to increase surveillance against new Covid-19 variant


By Tabora Bojang

The Ministry of Health has said it has taken notice of the new Omicron coronavirus variant which is feared to have high risk of infection.

The new variant was first reported in South Africa last week and since then many Western countries have imposed travel bans on the country along with its neighbours in southern Africa. 


According to the WHO, further research is required to assess the potential of the new variant to resist Covid-19 vaccines.   

The UN health body cautioned that the new variant could pose substantial impacts on countries with low national vaccination like The Gambia and urges countries to put in place a risk-based approach to adjust international travel measures.

This is coming on the heels of rising complacency among citizens coupled with a buzzy presidential election marred by huge disregards for the coronavirus protocols.

The Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Mustapha Bittaye, told The Standard that plans to prevent, detect and respond to the diseases like other Covid variants are all in swing.

“We maintained our surveillance and review our guidance based on the available evidence,” Dr Bittaye, an obstetrician gynaecologist added. 

The director of health promotion and education Modou Njie, also disclosed that the Health of Ministry is set to convene an internal meeting to put together a preventive framework to prevent the spread of the disease in The Gambia.

“The Ministry of Health is fully aware of the developments surrounding the new variant. All our thematic areas remain effective and we are ready to fight against its incursion,” Njie stated.