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Covid-19: Gambia Detects New Variant Identified In India

Dr. Samateh
Minister of Health



Gambia announced that a new Covid variant has been detected from two passengers who travelled from India two weeks ago.

The new variant (B.1.617) identified in India recently, has finally made its way into The Gambia through the two passengers who travelled from India on 18th April.

“Recently the two travellers 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,” an excerpt of a statement from the Ministry of Health said earlier Thursday.

“Currently seven (7) of their family members also tested positive and are in isolation receiving treatment,” the statement continued.

According to the statement, the Ministry of Health (MoH) surveillance system previously tested the two travellers when they arrived in the Gambia on 18th April, but they tested negative at the time.

As per Ministry of Health (MoH) protocol, travellers 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, the statement added.

The Ministry of Health [MoH] assured that it will intensify the testing regime at the Airport for travellers coming from all hotspot countries; saying, 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.

MoH concluded by reminding all that the PCR testing for arriving travellers at the Airport is free.


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