The Gambia Medicines Control Agency has issued a stern warning to private hospitals and clinics as well as pharmacies and drugstore to desist from venturing into “unauthorised importation, distribution, storage, sale and use of Covid-19 test kits.

The agency’s warning comes amid high rise in coronavirus cases and deaths in the country.

It also comes after Banjul mayor publicly made a call for lockdown of the city to stop the spread of the virus and the high death rate.

“The Gambia (PCG) hereby inform the general public that it is illegal for any person or entity to be engaged in unauthorized import, distribution, storage, sale and use of COVID-19 test kits or diagnostics in The Gambia. 

“Therefore, a person or entity shall not be engaged in the import, distribution, storage, sale and use of COVID-19 test kits or Diagnostics unless authorized by the Medicines Control Agency,” the Medicines Control Agency said in a statement.

“Currently, only National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) in Kotu and Medical Research Council (MRC) facilities are the recognized institutions authorized to conduct COVID-19 testing in The Gambia. 

“Therefore, the public is hereby warned not to visit any drugstore, pharmacy, private diagnostic center, private laboratory, private clinic, or private hospital for COVID-19 testing as their test kits may be substandard and falsified (counterfeit). 

“MCA strictly warn against the illegal import, sale and testing of customers using potentially unsafe or ineffective COVID-19 test kits.”

“This is very dangerous, unethical and could pose a serious public health hazard. Individuals and entities who fail to abide shall face the full strength (of the law),” the statement added.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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