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Gambia closes schools over coronavirus fears

The Gambia government has ordered that all schools including the country’s main university be shut down for 21 days starting Wednesday as fears over the coronavirus heightens.Addressing the nation on Tuesday evening President Adama Barrow described the global epidemic as a real threat to his country which is yet to register any case of the virus. 

President Barrow commended the Health ministry, its supporting partners and all frontline health practitioners for what he called a “responsive emergency programme.” 

The World Health Organisation has since declared the coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern. 

The Gambia although still free from the virus has resolved to suspend all public gatherings in the wake of the global pandemic. 

The Ministry of Health has  launched a massive sensitisation via mainstream and on social media on the application of prescribed preventive measures.

Two suspected cases earlier on Tuesday tested negative for the virus at the Medical Research Council outside the capital Banjul. 

“So far, there is no reported case of any coronavirus infection in The Gambia. However, the government is not complacent. There are surveillance teams at all major entry points into the country, whether by air or land,” the president said in his address long awaited by the public. 

Meanwhile, the country’s land borders remain open to travellers crossing in and out of Senegal which has already recorded some thirty confirmed cases of the respiratory illness that has so far killed over 6000 people globally since it was first noticed in China last December. 

Published on 28.04.2020

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