By Tabora Bojang
The Minister of Health, Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh has said The Gambia has no plans to impose a ban on travelers from countries with confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus, which has affected dozens of countries and territories around the world.
President Adama Barrow yesterday chaired an emergency closed-door cabinet meeting at State House where he was briefed about the Gambia’s preventive responses and state of preparedness on the deadly corona virus which has killed close to four thousand people across the world.
Since the outbreak, many countries have put in place tighter restrictions on international travels denying entries to passengers coming from countries with reported cases.
However addressing journalists after their emergency cabinet meeting, minister Samateh said although there is no single confirmed case in the country, The Gambia government and partners are stepping up efforts to enhance the Gambia’s preparedness and preventive safety measures.
But he categorically said the Gambia is not in a position to close its borders to countries whether affected or not, because that comes with a lot of “social challenges.”
“Travel ban…no, not as we speak, but to be fair to government, we heard of international travel embargo in other countries of the world. People are regulating their travel and people are advised to refrain from non-essential travels and this is the advice of The Gambia government to ensure people refrain from non-essential travels.
We have a lot of Gambians who are residing in countries that are affected and their families are here and if they want to come back to be with their families, should they be asked not to come when some of them do not have anywhere to live outside, so what is going to happen to them? I think the essence is to work together and those at risk are identified in good time, isolated and treated,” Samateh added.