There is a sense of anxiety in The Gambia following reports of a confirmed case of coronavirus in neighbouring Senegal on Monday.Senegal which partially surrounds The Gambia joins Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia as the first known cases of the virus which began last December in the central Chinese province of Wuhan.
Since news of the latest case of the virus in Dakar filtered through to Banjul, many Gambians have been dreading the implications for their country over this highly contagious flu-like virus.
Gambians have been calling radio stations to express their disquiet over what they called the country’s weak health system which may be overwhelmed should the global outbreak of the disease reach The Gambia.
There is widespread public angst over Gambia’s level of preparedness to deal with any case of the virus on its territory.
Since last month, Gambia’s only airport introduced preventive measures to stop the disease from entering the country.
Over the weekend, the country’s Health ministry dispelled rumours of a coronavirus case which was confirmed as a hoax.
Senegal’s coronavirus case involved a Frenchman who returned to Dakar from his native France on February 29th and has since been quarantined while members of his family have been put under close observation.
The global outbreak has already caused more than 3,000 deaths out of the 89,197 confirmed cases in 30 countries around the world.
So far, there is no effective treatment for the disease.
According to Tedros Adhanom, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 20 vaccines are being developed while therapeutic products are in clinical trials.