Man-hunt has been made for seventeen newly-arrived Gambians from the United Kingdom who stormed out of the Golden Beach Hotel now makeshift isolation camp for suspected carriers of the coronavirus.
Reports pin the exodus to the conditions of the hotel amid claims the beds are infested with bugs.
This assertion is lent some ground by Banjul South lawmaker Fatoumatta Souma’s escapade with authorities after suggesting, her mum, -one of the arrivals – be possibly transferred to healthier quarters, leading to her arrest and later release.
However, the hotel owner Sheriff Marong has come out rubbishing claims the structure is unfit for confinement of suspected coronavirus persons.
Recounting the scenario, Marong said Golden Beach had been on temporary closure owing to slow business and only reopened following government’s offer to use it as a makeshift isolation centre.
” We were contacted a week ago by the authorities. They came and did their assessment and at the time the hotel was temporary closed due to the slow down of business. I took a lot of sacrifice because a lot of my partners are not here because of the coronavirus. So they’re not pleased at all for me to give approval to authorities to accommodate these guests. It was a tough decision. I had to appeal to my staff,” he said.
However, the hotel’s first experience with guests turned ugly, saying Gambian arrivals insisted on going to their respective homes instead of adhering to stipulated 14-day isolation.
Next, trouble simmered with the adamant ones breaking the place’s main entrance and battled security leading to escape of 17 Gambians who’re now being pursued amid fears they pose threat to public health .
” Our first experience was Wednesday night when the first batch of guests arrived around 1:00 am in the morning accompanied by health officials. Fifty percent of them complied most did not.
“They said they are here on Holidays and they have to go their house, to their families. They did not receive having to spend here 14 days very well that is were the problem started. They broke my door -entrance of the hotel and then flee away. Hotel security couldn’t control them. These are civilians, they’re not armed.
“They took the advantage, pushed them (the security). Eventually my security men had to run away because of the guest wanted to beat them. Europeans when they came they complied because they know this is a state matter. The non-compliant ones are Gambians and the community has to be very careful (they might carry the virus),” Marong said in a latest interview after take reporter on tour of the facilities in rebuttal of the assertions.