Enforcement of compulsory face masks wearing begins

Aug 5, 2020, 11:42 AM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

The Gambia government has begun the enforcement of compulsory wearing of face masks starting Tuesday as part of measures to fight and curb the spread of coronavirus.

As part of the enforcement strategies, securities officials, both Kanifing Municipal police and The Gambia Police traffic officers have joined hands and started engaging people including passengers and pedestrians amongst others who failed to wear the masks in public.

The government has come up with regulations such as:

(1) All persons shall wear a face mask over their nose and mouth in all public places and at all times.
(2) A driver of a motor vehicle or operator of a ferry or vessel shall ensure that all passengers wear a face mask before embarking on the vehicle, ferry or vessel.
(3) The owner or manager of a public or private premises or shops shall ensure that all persons entering such premises or shops wear a face mask.
(4) The Area Council or Municipality of every area where a market is situated shall ensure that all persons entering a market wear a face mask.

These enforcement strategies have received a mixed reaction from people as some people support the move by the government while others remain opposed.

“Before forcing people to wear face masks they should first provide it for people. I don’t say that I don’t believe in the virus, but I think it is not up to the level that the Ministry of Health is stating it in the country,” said one Ousman Manneh, who was speaking in an interview with The Point at Serekunda Market.

He indicated that the government should at least provide some face masks to citizens, especially to the vulnerable before imposing such orders. He finally accused the government of using the virus as a way of tapping funds.

For her part, Adama Sillah welcomed the initiative from the government, adding that one of the ways to fight the deadly virus is to adhere to the government’s advice and WHO guidelines.

“As for me, I am unlike some people, I really believe in the virus and it also makes me so scared. I really support the move and will also make some sensitisations amongst my friends, some of which do not believe in the virus.”

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