A press release has been issued that His Excellency, the President has, acting in accordance with provisions of the 1997 Constitution, extended the State of Public Emergency he declared earlier for another twenty-one days.
The extension comes at a time when the Gambia has seen a hike in the cases of the dreaded coronavirus which seemed to have lulled for a while prior to the latest two cases registered. It seems therefore that there is some apprehension regarding the virus in the country.
It was reported that both the cases were of people who recently traveled back into the country; one from Senegal and the other from Guinea Bissau. In fact, many of the cases of coronavirus in the Gambia seem to be imported.
One wonders therefore whether there shouldn’t be more focus on controlling the borders so that there won’t be any more cases. This is one of the things being said in the country at the moment.
A few days earlier, the Spokesperson of the Gambia Government, Ebrima Sankareh announced some relaxations on the restrictions put in place by the regulations of the State of Public Emergency to prevent a spread of the coronavirus.
Among other things, the markets were to operate fully from six in the morning to six in the evening; and all vendors. The students who are in grade nine will also be allowed to resume school before they sit to the examination.
However, many citizens have decried the fact that the relaxation did not include the weekly markets commonly known as ‘lumolu’. The argument given by these people is that if markets can operate fully, then there is no reason why weekly markets should not, seeing that they are once in the week.
They also argue that the people of the provinces who are the ones who go to the lumolu need the relaxation more than those in the urban areas who have options.