By Lamin Cham
The much-feared highly contagious new Covid-19 variant first discovered in the UK, has now reached The Gambia, official sources confirmed to The Standard yesterday.
According to Abubacar Sankanu, member of the Covid-19 emergency committee responsible for information, laboratory tests have confirmed two cases of the variant last night. He said the two cases are arrivals from the UK. He gave no further details, saying more details are being gathered and would be duly made public.
When the new variant was reported in the UK, The Gambia government stiffened the arrival rules at the airport but with flights continuing to come from the UK via Brussels, many are worried that it would only be a matter of time before a case is found in the country.
The Gambia’s first ever Covid-19 case came from the UK.
The Standard also heard from other sources that health minister Samateh too confirmed the two cases to the National Assembly health committee yesterday. This new development came at a time when there is steady rise in the number of cases of the old type, which has now killed well over 100 people in the country with nearly 4000 people infected. The new variant is said to be more easily transferable, though it is not yet confirmed whether it is deadlier.