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 Flight passengers escaped from quarantine
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Posted - 23 Jun 2020 :  20:07:21  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
23rd June 2020


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.

Ministry of Health

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone


10681 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2020 :  20:28:37  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a serious blow to all the people of Gambia, I HOPE that this Press release has the desired effect and it will not be necessary to name those who have followed instructions that were given to them by the airport staff,the mind boggles at the stupidity of some people.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10681 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2020 :  12:52:41  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Words really fail me ,I am flaberghasted,NO interconnection between airport staff customs hotels, Ministry of Tourism RESULT utter CHAOS.


Jun 24, 2020, 1:28 PM
Brussels Airlines flight SN 215 landed at Banjul International Airport at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, 22nd June, being the first passenger flight to land here since the government closed the county’s airspace as a measure to minimise the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The aircraft is an Airbus A300 with 150 passengers; half the normal load for such aircraft.

Some members of the National Covid-19 Taskforce and some immigration officers were at the airport to receive the passengers who are predominantly Gambians returning from Europe. There were also a few European tourists.

Reports from observers at the airport speak of a chaotic situation on the arrival of the passengers with suitcases strewn on the airside road bordering the terminal building.

Luggage tractors and buses blocked traffic on the road. Passengers scrambled to identify their luggage. Once all the suitcases were identified, the arriving passengers boarded two buses which drove towards hotels in the TDA. One of the buses went to Tamala Hotel. However, no one was there to receive the exhausted travellers or help them.

They stood around for hours before they were finally transported to The Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.

Some of the passengers who waited long, found their ways to flout the quarantine.

“Passengers had no information during the flight about any quarantine arrangements. We heard that they wanted to quarantine us for two weeks," the speculation started onboard the plane. "Yes that is true," a passenger said.

"But they won't be able to quarantine all of us," another passenger claimed.

One passenger had even suggested if there was going to be mandatory quarantine he would bribe his way out of it. "In the Gambia money will get you anything," he alleged, as the plane landed and the passengers alighted.

They were loaded onto three waiting buses. One by one, their temperature was taken as they entered the buses and their hands were sprayed with sanitiser.

Then the questions began again this time directed at people who were supposed to be in the know - health and airport personnel.

After the long process, people tripped over each other as they wrestled to get to their bags. One traveller even claimed his suitcase had been tampered with. The suitcases didn't get to Customs for the usual controls for drugs and other illegal.

SN0215 flight had landed at 7.35pm. Passengers did not leave the airport until two hours after.

Passengers said that MoH and the Covid-19 Coordination Team need to do more to avoid repetition of what had happened before the next flight on 3 July 2020.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 25 Jun 2020 12:55:29
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