Monday, July 22, 2024

Covid-19: Gambians ‘angry’ with 45 days of state of emergency

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Lamin Fadera
Lamin Fadera
Lamin Fadera is a sports journalist based in the Gambia

Gambians are expressing uneasiness and anger about the decision by the country’s lawmakers to approve an extension to current state of public emergency by 45 days.

Last month the president Adama Barrow declared a seven day state of emergency after the country recorded a couple of cases of coronavirus.

The state of emergency was to restrict movements of people and prevent the spread of the virus.

But last Thursday a bill requesting a 90 day extension to the seven days state of emergency was tabled in parliament.

The members of the National Assembly however rejected the 90 days request and rather approved a 45 days of extension.

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Many Gambians are unhappy with the extension of the state of public emergency as they fear the worst for their livelihoods and survival.

Gambians lament impact of measures

Omar Sanneh, a 33 year business man who sells car spare parts said he is disappointed with the National Assembly members who approved the extension of the state of public emergency.

He told Africa Feeds that “Just imagine how we are going to live in the next 45 days. I depend on my shop to feed my family and I will not open because of the state of emergency.”

How am I going to survive with my family, these national Assembly members really disappointed me,” Sanneh said.

Ebrima Ceesay, a Tailor also told Africa Feeds that he cannot appreciate the reasoning behind the president’s order for non-essential business to be closed for 45 days.


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He told Africa Feeds “I am wondering how much loss this is going to caused my business, in-fact the president’s statement of non-essential business is a shame because all business are essential in this country.”

“We don’t want Coronavirus to spread in the Gambia but before declaring the emergency they should have placed strategies to help citizen who can’t afford to work during this period, “Ceesay said.

MC Cham Jr, the national youth president of the opposition Gambia Democratic Party (GDC) said the 45 days state of public emergency is not the solutions for the Gambia.

He said the national Assembly members should ask the finance Minister to provide food relief for Gambians for at least two weeks.

Provision for the poor

Cham Jr, said the government should use other strategies to fight COVID-19, suggesting that the government controls “the porous borders and strengthen it with test house health professional, police and immigration.”

“Support poor Gambians to adhere to the stay at home policy by providing basic needs,” MC Cham Jr said.

But Lamin Touray, a teacher said he supports the national Assembly decision to approve the 45 days of state of public emergency.

“I can tell you this is a great move, we have seen the damage Coronavirus has caused other countries so we should commend the president and the national Assembly members for the great move, prevention is better than cure,” Touray told Africa Feeds.

Gambia has recorded a total of four cases of COVID-19 as at April 4, 2020 with one death and two people recovering from the virus.

On Friday 69 people were also released after completing a mandatory quarantine for 14 days.




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