Gambian officials have launched a manhunt for 17 people they say escaped from Coronavirus quarantine.
The 17 persons were said to be part of a group of 32 passengers who arrived on a flight from the United Kingdom on Wednesday.
They were placed in quarantine in Golden Beach Hotel located in the capital, Banjul but authorities said they became aggressive.
According to official reports they broke out of the hotel where they had been quarantined as a coronavirus precaution and escaped.
Health Minister Ahmadou Lamin Samateh confirmed this in a statement on Thursday.
Samateh said the breakout by the 17 persons was “very, very detrimental” and created “risk for the entire nation”.
Gambia’s Director of Health Promotion Modou Njai told reporters in Kotu that “What they have done is against the public health act and when they are caught, we are finding them….
“…they are going to face the full force of the law. It’s just like somebody taken to prison and the person jumped and went away and the person is caught.”
He adds that “Perhaps if they have it, then the people they have contacted with, meaning they have just come to pass the disease to people who are not even… these are innocent people [sic]”.
On Friday Gambia’s government banned flights from thirteen countries after recording its first case of coronavirus.
On Tuesday a 21 year old Gambian citizen tested positive for the Coronavirus two days after she arrived in Banjul from UK.
Flights from the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Poland, Germany and Sweden have been suspended.
The other countries affected include Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Belgium and Portugal.
Aircraft from these countries would not be allowed to land at the Banjul international Airport.
Over 40 African countries have confirmed coronavirus infections totaling over 1,000 with the global infection numbers surpassing 300,000.