Good Morning Mr. President: Mandatory facemask wearing

Oct 19, 2020, 11:14 AM

Mr. President, now that your government has decided to relax almost all the restrictions that were put in place to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now left for the populace to follow the WHO preventive measures and health protocols, by compulsory wearing of face mask, cleaning of hands and environments.

COVID-19 is here to stay and we should learn to live with it in The Gambia like any other disease.

Mr. President, Government has done its part but should always step in when things are getting out of hand again. 

This is how the whole world is handling the pandemic and trying to move forward. Implementing some of the good measures put in place will allow the economy to restart gradually, although people need to remain vigilant and respect the WHO measures. As it is done in other parts of the world, failure to respect these measures should attract heavy punishments and fines.

Mr. President, now that you have opened all borders of the Gambia; land, air and sea, it will be wise to also consult with the Senegalese government concerning the reopening of all borders because The Gambia is surrounded by Senegal on all three sides except the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. 

This will be vital for both states as both countries should work together to combat the spread of the virus within their respective borders. Both countries have made tremendous progress in reducing the transmission rate of the virus with a significant drop in the number of the new infections and the number of deaths among patients. 

Mr. President, despite the reopening of the borders, the health authorities and security must continue to be vigilant to ensure that there is no second wave. People travelling to and from the country should be advised to continue wearing masks and observe social distancing where possible.

A rapid COVID-19 testing of passengers who arrive without a negative test result especially at the borders should be organised to avoid imported cases into the country.

Mr. President, the Senegalese High Commissioner, Basirou Sene, has told The Point that "Senegal's borders are still closed and anyone travelling from The Gambia to Senegal still needs a clearance certificate from the Office of Senegalese High Commissioner with a COVID-19 negative test certificate too."

He further stated that he "only learnt of Gambia’s reopening of land and sea borders from the press release sent to the media outlets. “I was not officially informed by the Gambian authorities," he claimed.

Mr. President, by 28 October 2020, all schools will be reopened. We wish to remind your government and transport authorities of the problems commuters face on the highway.

It should be made clear that transport fares are returned to the normal fare hence vehicles are carrying full trips and drivers should also stop charging 3 fares (times) for  one destination.

Your government should also work on getting more school buses for school children to reduce the burden on the highway.

Mr. President, the conditions of the roads in the Greater Banjul Area i.e Independence Drive being the main road leading to the capital city, Westfield-Serrekunda – Tipper Garage Highway, Sanchaba new road, and Brikama main road and many more roads which are not mentioned here are very bad. These roads are impassable. 

The quality of these roads should also be emphasised especially with this year's heavy down pour. Good quality roads are not constructed in the Gambia. Roads only last for about two years or less before they start deteriorating. Emphasis must be placed so that good and durable roads are constructed.

Finally Mr. President, Government should give road construction contracts to the right people for better outputs. 

We have put up with all these low quality i.e inferior work for far too long; now we want durability.

Good day!

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