As New COVID-19 Variant Emerges; Gambia’s Health Ministry to Increase Surveillance

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Gambia’s Ministry of Health has informed the public that it has taken note of the new  Coronavirus variant ‘Omicron’ which is reported to be highly infectious.

The new variant was first reported in South Africa last week prompting a travel ban on the country along with its neighbours in southern Africa. WHO has revealed that further research is required to assess the potential of the new variant’s resistance to Covid-19 vaccines.

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The UN agency says in a presser that this new development could pose substantial impacts on countries with low national vaccination (like The Gambia) and urges countries to put in place a risk-based approach to adjust international travel measures.

This comes at a time when the country is preparing for its 4th December 2021 Presidential Election with campaign periods attracting huge crowds and disregarding coronavirus protocols.

Dr Mustapha Bittaye is Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, he revealed that plans to prevent, detect and respond to diseases like the new COVID-19 variant are all in swing.

“We maintained our surveillance and reviewed our guidance based on the available evidence,” Dr Bittaye said.

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“The Ministry of Health is fully aware of the developments surrounding the new variant. All our thematic areas remain effective and we are ready to fight against its incursion,” Director of Health Promotion and Education Modou Njie said.


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