#Editorial

Good Morning Mr. President: Time to act

Jul 20, 2020, 11:10 AM

Mr. President, it's time for your government to put in strict rules to fight the Covid-19. Let’s call a spade a spade.

The way the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing in the country is very worrisome. Latest figures at the time going to press stand at 93 positive cases since 17 March with four deaths and the disturbing news with some running away from quarantine and treatment centers.

Mr. President, there should be a law to deal with such people because this is unacceptable and one rotten potato cannot spoil the whole bag.

The security should be tightened at these centers and anyone caught trying to escape or found after escaping should be severely dealt with. The identity of these culprits should be disclosed so that people can keep off them. 

The identity of a dishonest person shouldn't be hidden.

Mr. President, more sensitisation over this deadly disease should be done as the majority of people are taking it lightly while some don’t even believe its existence. 

People don’t respect social distancing, wearing of face masks, using of santisers and frequent washing of hands. Doctors say those who wear masks have 95% chance not to be contaminated by the virus while those who don’t put masks have 1%.

The precautionary measures should be observed without delay and by force because you can't wait till we have unimaginable numbers before you act.

Mr. President, Ebrima Sankareh, the government spokesman revealed that come Friday 24 July 2020, the mandatory use of face masks will come into force .This is long overdue and any defaulter should face penalties. 

All the institutions and government offices should help their workers with face masks. Government and other philanthropists should also assist those who cannot afford by supplying free masks. 

Those selling the masks should also sell them at reasonable prices.

Mr. President, as the ‘Tobaski’ is fast approaching, the market areas should be controlled to avoid people overcrowding the markets like during the past ‘koriteh’ which was condemned by all. Wedding and funeral venues are also over crowded with people, therefore putting on masks or observing social distancing should be observed.

There should be more vigilance and compliance in all forms of public gatherings and the government should enforce laws which will protect all people residing in The Gambia.

Mr. President, Air borders should be re -opened with travel advisory guidelines.

Anyone coming to The Gambia should bring a health certificate and laboratory test of not more than 72 hours showing the results of the person before entering.

Mr. President, your government should review the quarantine financial expenditure as this cannot continue. There are already over 600 people in quarantine and spending almost D32,000 for each person for two weeks in a five star hotel is unacceptable. 

People travelling to The Gambia should start paying their bills or at least 50% of the bills to reduce the unnecessary movement of people.

Mr. President, since the tobaski is approaching, lumos should be allowed to resume sales so that livestock owners can sell their livestock but under the control of security personnel to make sure social distancing is observed and people wear masks.

Livestock dealers coming from neighbouring countries should be allowed to come provided they have been tested and have their medical results. Government should also waive all taxes and facilitate their entry.

Mr. President, you really need to concentrate more on the Covid-19 pandemic and work towards achieving your promises of the 2016 campaign because your re-election will depend on your performance, not coalition. This is not the time for politics.

Mr. President, you have to concentrate on improving water and electricity, good communication network, good roads and sewage system and improve the cost of living of Gambians. You have to work on youth education, training employment, fight corruption, promote good governance, respect rule of law, democracy, freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

On the money pledged on 21 May 2018 in Brussels with the International community; 1.7 billion US dollars with EU, ADB, Islamic Development Bank and EU pledged 140 million US dollars, OIC funding projects. When received, all these could be used wisely for the National Development Plan

Finally Mr. President, action speaks louder than words, as the presidential election is slated for 4 December 2021. The ball is in your court and people will be judging your performance.

There is a saying: "The only people you need in life are the ones that find time for you.

Don’t make someone a priority if the person only considers you an option.

Good Day!

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