The Gambia introduces enhanced COVID-19 measures to contain the spread of omicron variant

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Total active COVID-19 cases in the Gambia as of January,18, 2022 stands at 1,381, while 347 deaths have so far been recorded due to the pandemic.

A recent statement from the Ministry of Health has also confirmed the country has recorded 26 cases of the Omicron variant, 13 of whom are outgoing travellers.

“The samples were collected between the 22nd and 28th of December 2021 and the results confirm the presence of the highly contagious Omicron variant in the country…,” the January 7 statement signed by the Director of Health Promotion and Education, Modou Njai said.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been called a variant of concern by the WHO based on the evidence that it has several mutations.

As part of efforts to contain the Omnicron variant, the Gambia is introducing enhanced measures (testing and quarantine protocols) effective January 17, 2022.

What you need to know when travelling to The Gambia

Passengers who have been fully vaccinated do not need a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test to enter into the Gambia.

Such travellers are advised to self-isolate and avail themselves to the testing centres for Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) in case they notice any signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

However, fully vaccinated persons who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 would be required to undergo a Rapid Diagnostic Test at the airport upon arrival.

Meanwhile non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated persons would need a negative PCR test result valid within 72hours for entry into the country.

Passengers from countries identified to be the hotspots of the Delta variant would undergo RDT at the airport.

The list of Delta variant hotspot countries based on Gambia’s national guidelines are as follows:

PortugalDenmark
United KingdomIndia
CanadaSweden
JapanUSA
NetherlandsSpain
FinlandSwitzerland
AustraliaTurkey
BelgiumIreland
FranceMexico
SloveniaItaly
South Africa

Omicron variant hotspots

Fully vaccinated people travelling from countries considered to be Omicron variant hotspots need to provide proof of vaccination and avail themselves for a Rapid Diagnostic Testing at the airport in The Gambia.

Non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated persons from countries considered to be Omicron variant hotspots would need to provide proof of a negative PCR test report valid within 72 hours for entry into the country.

The ministry also indicated that people who are likely to test positive upon arrival would have to bear the cost of quarantine and further PCR testing.

The list of Omicron variant hotspot countries based on Gambia’s national guidelines are as follows:

NamibiaUnited Kingdom
PortugalLesotho
MalawiBotswana
eSwatiniCanada
DenmarkHong Kong
GermanyAustralia
ZimbabweAngola
United States of AmericaMozambique

 

Children under age 18 travelling from hotspot countries for both Delta and Omicron variants to the Gambia would be tested at the airport using RDT.

By: Gifty Tracy Aminu

 

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Sang Mendy, managing director of the Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJAC), is by default the head of Fact Check Gambia. Sang holds a BA in Journalism and Digital Media from the University of The Gambia. He also holds an Advanced Diploma in Mass Communication and a Higher Teachers Certificate. Prior to being the manager, he worked as a journalism trainer and a radio producer. Sang spends his spare time mentoring the young.

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