The government in collaboration with the Medical Research Council, has announced its first case of Coronavirus. Health Minister Amadou Lamin Samateh made the announcement shortly after President Adama Barrow has addressed the nation on the Coronavirus pandemic. The diagnosed female patient was in her twenties, according to Health Minister Samateh. “This particular case is a lady in her twenties, who returned from the UK on Sunday, through the Banjul international airport. A day after arrival she started to have fever and decided to self-isolate at home. She reported to the MRC under isolation and was tested and was found to be positive,” Dr. Samateh said.

The West African nation of The Gambia registered its first case of Coronavirus on Tuesday. The COVID19 case was discovered by the United Kingdom based Medical Research Council (MRC).

Samateh says passengers who flew with the patient would be located and quarantined.

“The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Medical Research Council have started the process of contact persons and will endeavor to reach all contacts especially those in the same flight,” Samateh said.

Samateh’s statement followed a state address made by President Barrow, who briefed the nation on his government’s plans to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. The government has suspended schools and ban public gatherings.

In a statement issued the Medical Research Council said: “A confirmed case of COVID-19 is in isolation and receiving excellent care at our specialist clinic in Fajara. We wish them well in their recovery.”

“We are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus, including the sanitisation of buildings. We are supporting the Ministry of Health as it works rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had,” the MRC statement further stated.

According to the MRC, those identified as close contacts will be given health advice in line with Ministry of Health guidance. The British Research Council also said there is minimal risk to the Unit’s staff and the local community.

“However, we encourage all Gambians to follow World Health Organization guidance on coronavirus control, including washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and blowing your nose/sneeze into a tissue. We remain in regular contact with the Gambian Ministry of Health and their Epidemiology and Disease Control Centre,” said MRC.

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