The West African nation of The Gambia is said to be running out of Coronavirus testing kits, Freedom Newspaper has been reliably informed. There is a massive shortage of COVID-19 testing kits, we have been told. Both The Gambia based United Kingdom Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Gambian Health Ministry have been affected by the testing kit shortage.
A Gambian parent, who reached us on Saturday, said his son, who works at the MRC Fajara, and was asked by his employer to self-isolate himself at home for two weeks, as he was tested positive for COVID-19. But when his son felt that he had recovered, he asked one of the MRC doctors, if he could be tested before he could walk out of quarantine, but surprisingly, the concerned parent said his son, was told that there were no COVID-19 testing kits to avail him another test.
“My son was told that there was no testing kit. He was also told that if he feels good, he could leave quarantine. He was cleared from quarantine because he told them that he had recovered. I am very worried. No medical test was done to ascertain if he had the Coronavirus or not,” said the concerned parent, who wished to remain anonymous.
He further claimed that many MRC staff have been infected with the virus, including doctors. He says some of the quarantined MRC staffers, who completed their quarantined, couldn’t be tested because there are no testing kits.
MRC was closed for business over the weekend. There was no one available to talk to us when we called their main office line.
According to the concerned parent, some of the Finance Ministry Budget Department staff, who were quarantined at one of the quarantine facilities were also released without been tested.
“My son’s friends work at Budget at Finance. Their health condition was severe, that was reason why they were quarantined at “ Lemond crede.” They were asked if they had experienced any joint pain, coughing, and when they responded in the negative, they were released. They haven’t done any test,” said the concerned father.
The Gambia has so far registered 1, 090 COVID-19 cases. Out of that figure, 146 patients have recovered, and 19 died.
There are 925 active COVID-19 cases.
The Vice President Isatou Touray, who was tested positive for COVID-19, has recovered. The President’s Office said in a press release on Saturday that VP Touray’s follow up tests results came out negative.
The inconclusive test results of the quarantined Health Minister Amadou Lamin Samateh, also came out negative, according to the Health Ministry.
Health Minister Dr. Amadou Lamin Samateh could not be reached for comment when contacted on his cellular phone. We made repeated attempts to reach him, but to no avail.
Momodou Njie, the Director of Health Promotion, could also not be reached for comment.
The phone lines we had on file for him were not reachable despite repeated attempts.
Bubacarr Prince Sankanu, a Senior Information Officer at the Ministry of Information was also contacted, but his Facebook messenger was never attended to.