The United Nations system in The Gambia is closely monitoring Covid-19 developments in the country, especially the recent detection of the Covid-19 Delta variant, which was first confirmed in India. The UN recognises the urgent actions taken by the Ministry of Health to trace and isolate people exposed to the new variant and limit its potential spread. The Government of The Gambia has also shown strong leadership in the deployment of the national Covid-19 vaccination campaign which has so far vaccinated about 30,000 people.
The confirmation of the new Covid-19 variant in the country is a strong reminder that the pandemic is far from over and that it is too soon to let our guard down. Despite improvements in some parts of the world, new variants are being discovered forcing many countries to return to lockdowns due to a surge in cases. It is therefore prudent to take more seriously the Covid-19 preventive measures – mandatory use of face masks in public, social distancing, avoiding large crowds, and hand hygiene – and step up testing and contact tracing, especially of asymptomatic individuals, across the country.
As the country forges ahead in these difficult times, the UN will continue to work closely with the Government of The Gambia and partners to provide strong support to national Covid-19 prevention, response and recovery efforts as it has been doing since the outbreak of the pandemic.