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Gambia vows to name and shame latest COVID-19 quarantine cheats

Gambia's capital, Banjul. (Photo: Pixabay)

BANJUL, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Forty people in Gambia confirmed as coronavirus positive in the past week have refused to self-isolate or escaped treatment centres, the health ministry said on Tuesday, promising to reveal the identities of those flouting health regulations.

It also said large numbers of recent arrivals to the former British colony from COVID-19 hotspots had failed to follow health protocols or report for a mandatory test.

The non-compliance will have strained efforts to contain the virus in the small West African nation, which earlier in January recorded its first two cases of the highly infectious variant first found in Britain.

All those concerned must immediately report to the health authorities, the ministry said, “failure of which will lead to serious consequences, including the publication of names and identifying information of all those at large”.

Africa’s case fatality rate has risen alarmingly to 2.5%, exceeding the global level of 2.2% for the first time, the head of the continent’s disease control body said last week.

Gambia, whose fatality rate stands even higher – at around 3.2% – has recorded over 4,000 cases and 128 deaths in total. (Reporting by Pap Saine, Writing by Alessandra Prentice, Editing by Giles Elgood)

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