The Ministry of Health regrets to inform the public that four (4) passengers out of the One Hundred Forty (140) who arrived in the country on the 22nd June 2020 with the SN Brussels flight escaped from quarantine. Of the four (4) escapees, one (1) surrendered himself to the health authorities. The second fugitive was reported by a neighbour and subsequently picked up together with her boyfriend who smuggled her while logistic arrangements were in progress.
Unfortunately, this incident happened at a time when the health officials were working on the safe and orderly transfer of all passengers from Banjul International Airport to the various standard Government-funded quarantine facilities within the Greater Banjul Area. Unlike other countries that use school halls and stadia for quarantine during public health emergencies, The Gambia Government rents standard hotels as quarantine facilities.
Here in The Gambia, persons taken into quarantine are provided with full boarding and accommodation for the duration of the 14-day quarantine. The Government Regulation on mandatory quarantine for Gambians and Non-Gambians arriving from COVID-19 hotspot countries will be quarantined without exception remains valid.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Health would like to call on all those who travelled from Belgium through SN Brussels flight to Banjul and absconded from the quarantine centres are strongly urged to report to the health authorities or call 1025 for the necessary actions to be taken failure of which their names will be announced over the media to be followed by arrests from their homes. Persons that escaped quarantine are reminded that the health authorities are in possession of their passport details and addresses.
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 health care needs of the population.