Covid-19 INFO

What are current regulations upon entering The Gambia and where to get tested for Covid-19?

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.

Most common symptoms:

  • fever
  • dry cough
  • tiredness

Less common symptoms:

  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • diarrhoea
  • conjunctivitis
  • headache
  • loss of taste or smell
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home.

On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain or pressure
  • loss of speech or movement

Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms.

For more information, call COVID-19 helpline 1025 or 9001025 6221025 3441025 3411025 7541025 2101025

Prevention

Protect yourself and others around you by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions. Follow advice provided by your local health authority.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.
  • Calling in advance allows your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This protects you and prevents the spread of viruses and other infections.

Masks

Masks can help prevent the spread of the virus from the person wearing the mask to others. Masks alone do not protect against COVID-19 and should be combined with physical distancing and hand hygiene. Follow the advice provided by your local health authority.

Where can I go to get tested for COVID-19?

Anyone who wants to do a COVID-19 test could have their sample collected from the following sample collection points:

  1. Independence Stadium in Bakau, KMC 
  2. Brusubi, WCR Brusubi, WRC (right before the Brusubi police station, it is on the left, when coming from Turntable heading towards Sukuta)

Please call the call centre before going to any of the above-mentioned places. 

Samples will be collected at the following sites every day, from 10 am to 2 pm

Results can be collected at the Central Medical Stores Complex in Kotu (travellers), between 1 pm and 6 pm upon presenting bank payment receipt or send by text message (free tests). Normally results are ready in 24 hours.

For more information, call COVID-19 helpline 1025 or 9001025 6221025 3441025 3411025 7541025 2101025

UPDATE ON THE QUARANTINE AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR INTENDING TRAVELLERS TO THE GAMBIA

The Ministry of Health wishes to draw the attention of the public to the latest COVID-19 protocols governing ‘Quarantine Procedures and Testing Guidelines’  for arriving passengers into the country.

The Ministry of Health in close collaboration with the WHO have now progressed to conduct Rapid Diagnostic Tests as passengers arrive at the Banjul International Airport. 

Therefore effective immediately, the following mechanisms are now in place: 

Travellers coming from hotspot countries (listed below) as identified by the Ministry of Health, will now undergo a ‘Rapid COVID-19 Test’ upon arrival at the airport in addition to having a valid COVID-19 PCR test results of 72 hrs. Those travellers whose rapid test results turn negative will be allowed to go home with the advice to report to the sample collection site in case of any signs of COVID-19.

However, travellers who test positive on arrival at the B. I. A. will be subjected to a further mandatory PCR testing for confirmation of their latest COVID-19 statuses. 

All other travellers from non-hotspot countries shall provide a valid negative PCR test within 72 hrs. Such passengers will be allowed to go home and advised to observe a 14-day self-monitored quarantine with a condition to report for testing when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. 

The Ministry of Health has identified the following as hotspot countries:

  • United Kingdom
  • Belgium
  • Italy
  • USA
  • Nigeria
  • France
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • The Netherlands
  • Turkey
  • Norway
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Chile
  • Switzerland
  • Denmark
The Gambia Government through the Ministry of Health seeks the full compliance of the public to these new COVID-19 requirements.
 
Ebrima G. Sankareh, The Gambia Government Spokesperson
Press Release, 27.5.2021

Ministry of Health (MoH) in response to COVID-19 continues to monitor all new Corona virus variants from UK, South Africa and of recent the variant identified in India (B.1.617). This is to inform the general public that, the Ministry of Health (MoH) surveillance system detected two travelers who arrived in the Gambia on 18th April, 2021. The two travelers were tested with Rapid Diagnostic Test (STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Test) at the Airport upon arrival and both tested negative.

As per Ministry of Health (MoH) protocol, travelers with Rapid Diagnostic Test negative results at Airport are allowed to self-isolate at home. Home isolation is a 14-day self-monitored quarantine with a condition to report for testing if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Recently the two travelers arriving from India fell ill after two weeks and reported to a health facility for testing and were found to be positive. Their samples were sequenced and the results were found to be the new variant identified in India.

Currently seven (7) of their family members also tested positive and are in isolation receiving treatment.

The general public is therefore notified of the updates on our testing and quarantine protocol. Henceforth, all travellers from India must arrive in The Gambia with a negative PCR test valid for 72hrs. All such travellers will be quarantined for a maximum of 72hrs at their own cost to enable sample collection and PCR testing.

The testing regime at the Airport for travellers coming from all hotspot countries will be intensified. Those with positive Rapid Diagnostic Test will be quarantined for a maximum of 72hrs at their own cost and they will further undergo PCR testing. It is important to note that the PCR testing for arriving travellers is free of charge.

Signed:
Mr Modou Njai
Director of Health Promotion & Education
******************************************************************************

COVID-19 Traveller's Test Fee

The Ministry of Health hereby informs the general public that, with effect from the 11th day of March 2021, all intending travellers requiring COVID 19 testing and certification will pay an amount of three thousand Dalasis (D2,500.00). This fee is payable to the Account outlined below. 

Every traveller is required to pay this fee and present a receipt at sample collection sites. Samples are still collected at the Independence Station and Brusubi Turntable near Ministry of Energy. COVID 19 samples can be collected between 10.00 am and 02.00 pm. Test result (certificate) is however collected at the Central Medical Stores Complex in Kotu between 01.00 pm and 06.00 pm upon presentation of Bank payment receipt. 

The public is informed that the COVID 19 pandemic continues to pose challenges, considerably overwhelming our health system. Besides, since the reopening of airports and subsequent introduction of new protocols such as the mandatory provision of negative COVID 19 viral tests by travellers within three days of the travel period, the cost of testing has exponentially been on increase. It thus becomes imperative to affect this payment scheme to help manage the cost-efficiently. The fee can be a reflection of the resource cost the national reference laboratory faces for completing the COVID-19 diagnostic test in a timely manner. 

The Ministry of Health assures the general public that, COVID 19 tests conducted by the National Public Health Laboratory and the Medical Research Council and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in The Gambia are effective and safe, thus urge all to utilize only these two facilities for testing and certification of COVID 19 samples. The public is further reminded, receipts in respect of payment may be requested at the airport during departure, therefore, travellers are urged to keep their receipts. The public is encouraged to call the Ministry of Health Toll-Free Number-1025 for other related information.

In conclusion, the Ministry of Health is soliciting the continuous support and cooperation of the general public in its efforts to contain COVID-19 and also in addressing all health care needs of the population.  

More Information
Follow Covid-19 Response Ministry of Health The Gambia for more information by clicking HERE.

Call 1025 or 9001025 6221025 3441025 3411025 7541025 2101025

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