Mr. Barrow gave the warning during an address to the nation on Friday.
“Every sector of society has a duty to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I encourage and call upon the religious leaders to support and adhere to the COVID-19 measures in the best interest of the country,” Barrow said.
He further said that to stop the spread of coronavirus, all are duty-bound to wear a facemask, properly covering their mouths and nose, before going to any public place, adding that people do not have to wait until the law is applied “before we do the right thing. “Let us police ourselves as individuals, groups and communities.”
“It is important to emphasise further that all transporters, be they official, private or commercial, should be responsible enough to wear a proper face mask and ensure that passengers in their vehicles wear an appropriate mask in a proper manner. Anyone who violates this regulation or breaks the curfew in force will be dealt with according to the law without any compromise.”
He urged municipal and area councils, market managers and all stakeholders to provide sanitary facilities and design proper physical distancing mechanisms in all markets and their environs.
“While Civic Education groups and the media sensitise the public, families, neighbours and friends have the civic and moral obligation to enlighten one another on the messages from the experts, the regulations and their implications.”
The Gambian leader noted that government can devise or invoke the necessary public health laws and regulations, but it is the responsibility of everyone to maintain regular hand washing, proper wearing of masks in public places and practise physical distancing.
He revealed that in the thick of all these, law enforcement agents would have to enforce the emergency powers.
“There is an old adage that ‘prevention is better than cure.’ Acting on this, let us demonstrate that we care about ourselves and those around us by following the COVID 19 prevention guidelines, regulations and measures.”