Gambia’s story with Covid-19 is this moment a sad episode amid a surge in deaths including prominent members of society.
As of last weekend alone, up to ten corpses have been confirmed to be positive of covid-19 with traces of close contacts still ongoing.
The Smiling Coast got caught up in this web of ailment March this year despite the pandemic’s start in China December last term.
Who triggered it is a mystery still unresolved but what is crystal certain is it was at an epidemic stage in March with Italy, Germany , the UK the most hit at the time.
Theories were being spewed out as to how it rocked including possible preventive measures as word went around that Africans were resistant to the sickness.
This, most said, was the spark that stirred widespread of the epidemic to pandemic level as majority by this stage bought the claim blacks are immune against it by default of colour tone .
Then catastrophe began befalling the continent as Senegal became the first Senegambian country to register a case via a French tourist who flew over on holiday.
Soon doctors handling the patient got mired too, getting infected consequently. However, health officials in Dakar were swift to curb any further surge of contraction.
Gambia, being lesser equipped, still by this time found no need for urgency to close its frontiers even after Macky Sall’s leadership took initiative to shut its borders.
And on March 16th, Gambia registered its first case as panic swept through.
The unidentified patient flew over from the United Kingdom having had a transit in Maroc and touched down at the Banjul International Airport on board Royal Air Maroc.
The country’s army chief Yankuba Drammeh was also on the same flight however alarm wasn’t raised until the first case got confirmed and admitted.
It occurred, the first patient, believed to be a 28-year-old female, wasn’t detected of the pandemic even having gone through a premier test at the airport.
In the ensuing weeks, trouble bubbled with the death of an Bangladeshi preacher who purportedly got the virus while making stops in Senegal on his way to The Gambia.
Up until now, there have been no registered local transmissions but dozens were tracked around Bundung Markass were the preacher lived for quarantining.
Mercifully, no detection of transmission was uncovered despite the level of disbelief or doubt among the population.
By April, a flight has touched down carrying passengers refusing to be taken into a 14-day isolation on the pretext the centres, designed for quarantining, were ill-equipped and filth -ridden.
Some 50 or so passengers were tracked but only a paltry seven or eight were arrested and taken into the centre. This came hot on the heels of government’s announcement urging those who boarded the flight report to be checked.
In the interim, a number of unaccounted suspected carriers of the disease fled the isolation place to their families having overpowered security personnel at the hotel makeshift covid-19 camp.
By May 2020, government issued a dispatch of a state of emergency without parliament’s approval but the request was eventually given the go-ahead as rest of Gambia went into lock down for the first time.
Fast forward to today, the lock down was loosen, public institutions and shops resuming operations as the number of confirmed cases of the covid reduced dramatically prior to the latest wave of escalation of the pandemic.
Those who criticised Barrow for “unnecessarily ” extending State of Emergencies have by now being forced to down their chastisements as State House is the latest of public institutions rocked by the killer disease. Already, three ministers are infected including vice-president Isatou Touray inevitably prompting president Barrow to go into a isolation.
As at now, 24 bodies have been buried eleven of those covid-19 positive including known community leaders.