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City of Banjul
Friday, September 25, 2020

What next after the curfew?

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This week, the nationwide three-week night curfew imposed by the Gambia Government will elapse.

The imposition of the night curfew was a new measure meant to halt the spread of the coronavirus in the country which had taken an ugly upsurge with deaths and double-figure cases daily.

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The new measures, which included closing down places of worship for the second time in five months, might have come a bit late as The Gambia one-time took the lead in cases registered per day in the sub region.

However, with the mandatory wearing of facemasks and the imposition of night curfew, discipline has been restored even though cases haven’t significantly gone down yet.

The police have been very active in enforcing the new regulations as drivers, passengers and others get rounded up across the nation and fined for violating the regulations.

Enforcement was the standout reason why the previous regulations and restrictions failed, as citizens openly violated them without consequences.

This time, however, citizens have somewhat bought into the idea of wearing facemasks as one of the most effective ways of fight the spread of the virus. The police must be commended for ensuring indiscriminate adherence to the regulations.

When the first 45-day state of public emergency was approved by the National Assembly, subsequent declarations were announced by the presidency as the lawmakers refused to extend citing failure of enforcement.

Every week, the president would declare a 7-day state of emergency, which went on for a while.

This generated a public outrage as the two arms of government experienced a rough relationship. But with the new regulations getting enforced, will the Assembly back subsequent ones?

The night curfew and the new regulations will expire in the next couple of days. Is the government going to relax the restrictions or will it extend them?

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