Officials of the Ministry of Health have been accused of withholding vital information from the public as the country goes into lockdown to stop the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. 

The ministry has been releasing information via a weekly press conference on the coronavirus situation in the country. 

But journalists have expressed their frustrations that there were many unanswered questions from health officials who have either feigned ignorance or refused to answer questions of public concerns. 

They have refused to give updates on the situation of the first coronavirus patient in the country, a 28-year-old Gambian woman, after saying last week she was responding well to treatment. 

When our reporter contacted the Director of Health Promotion at the Ministry of Health, Modou Njai, he said he doesn’t know the current situation of the woman. 

Speaking to Gambiana, Mr. Njai, said: “Well, I cannot give any information [about] that one, I was away for two days.”

Meanwhile, he also refused to give any information on the amount of ventilators in the country nor could he confirmed reports that the World Health Organisation had donated ventilators to the country. 

“I have no idea about ventilators. Nobody informed me about it so I will make sure I find out about it.”

Gambiana’s managing editor, Momodou Musa Touray, said it was frustrating that public officials were refusing to answer vital questions about the country’s handling of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in the country. 

“It’s almost a week we have been chasing health officials on their guidelines for handling coronavirus victims and their burial. For instance: What happened to the bodies and how are they buried? Will the Islamic ritual of washing bodies be allowed given that the bodies of coronavirus victims are infectious?,” Mr Touray said. 

He added: “The officials should know that the media is the bridge between the government and the people. We expect them to work with us in this time of crisis to provide accurate information to the public.” 

Another journalist who preferred anonymity said his calls to Health officials either go unanswered or they would declined to comment. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Please disable your adblocker and support our journalism. Thank you.