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Sunday, February 28, 2021

NHRC tells government to lead by example in fight against Covid-19

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By Omar Bah

The National Human Rights Commission has expressed “deep concern and fear” over the public’s total disregard and law enforcement agencies’ non-enforcement of the Ministry of Health and WHO guidelines for the prevention of Covid-19.

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The commission urged the government and political parties to show exemplary leadership in the fight against the virus.

The NHRC lamented that “social distancing, wearing of facemasks, avoidance of public gatherings and events especially and other guidelines are disregarded with absolute apathy.”

“By all indications, the statistics show an exponential increase in our Covid-19 infection rate and already families have lost loved ones, some of whom are breadwinners and community pillars, to the pandemic. The recent detection of the UK variant of Covid-19 is even more worrisome as this variant is said to be more contagious and deadlier,” the NHRC stated.

The commission added: “Unfortunately, mega-events continue to be organised and their organisers are music promoters, political leaders and political parties who the public look up to for guidance in these trying times. All are reminded that the protection of the public from Covid-19 should be placed above everything else.”

The NHRC argued that the government has the obligation to guarantee the fundamental human rights of the people, and therefore it has a duty to protect all and sundry and to ensure enforcement and implementation of the safety guidelines including those of the WHO regarding Covid-19 prevention.

 “The National Human Rights Commission wishes to reiterate that we can only win the fight against Covid-19 when we all exercise personal responsibility in the observance of the WHO guidelines, and the political leaders leading by example.  It is only through compliance with the law, respect for human rights and dignity and being each other’s keeper, we will overcome this pandemic.”

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