Covid-19: Gambia needs to take a cue from neighbours!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Since the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, global response from countries goes to show the gravity and seriousness the virus pose to human survival. The global health pandemic is not only hammering global economies, but also affecting global food chains.

But what is important during these trying times is constant communication. Suffice it to state that the leadership in The Gambia needs to take a cue from our immediate neighbours Senegal.

After his first nationwide address, President Macky Sall of Senegal on Monday again addressed the nation for the second time, where he declared a state of emergency. It is interesting to state here that during the 2014 outbreak of deadly Ebola virus, Senegal’s reaction to that pandemic has been extraordinary. And now, Senegalese researchers are teaming up with Mologic, a British biotech to create test kits that can diagnose covid-19 within 10 minutes.

What President Adama Barrow should do is to be constantly updating the populace as the number of new cases in the country rise to three.

It is being reported in the news that a 71-year old Gambian, of URR origin (Numuyel village), who recently returned from France has been tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the number of covid-19 cases in the country to three. How many people did he come into contact with before his arrest?

For now let’s continue embracing social distancing, voluntary self-quarantine, staying home when sick, avoiding large crowds. This, among other such as the cancellation of events, entertainment and cultural events would help us all.

We also suggest that Barrow even meet with political leaders so as to discuss collectively how to eradicate covid-19 in the country. We should always bear in mind that The Gambia is greater than any individual interest. And we need each other more especially during this trying moments.

The move by the authorities to restrict people’s movement and banning of all public gatherings in all forms is laudable.

We should do away with the claims by some scientists who think the high temperatures in many African countries may make life harder for the virus that causes COVID-19. This is a global health pandemic and should be treated with urgency.

Another important area is that the Ministry of Health should open up and make fast and timely updates so as to allay people fear amid the spread of the virus in the country.

Remember that this global pandemic needs to be addressed with utmost but collective response. 

“I’ve taken my cue from people here and from viewers, especially survivors-who said, ‘When it’s time to literally flip your wig, you’ll know.”

Robin Roberts