Gambia: Coronavirus - No Room for Complacency!

The past few days have been very alarming for many, with the surge in the daily positive cases of Coronavirus in the country. The recent discovery of new positive cases reminds us that more work is still need in the containment of this deadly virus.

In the wake of most government offices returning to full operations as well as local businesses, let us not forget the 'social vaccine' against Covid-19 through strict adherence of norms of physical distancing, hand hygiene, mask and face covers. The sight of people thronging the venues and at public places is cause of concerns over a second wave.

The Gambia has now confirmed a total of 47 cases of covid-19 overall, with two deaths and 370 others on quarantined. On June 10, The Government of The Gambia extended the National State of Emergency for an additional 21 days, effective until July 1. Although the State of Emergency is currently still in effect, the government announced an easing of restrictions on June 4 reopening markets, mosques (as of June 5), and churches (as of June 7). Other restrictions - including school closures, border closures, and social gathering limitations -remain in place but are now hardly adhere to.

Now that the daily cases continue to pick up gradually, let us continue creating more community and border awareness on the prevention of covid-19. The more informed communities are, the better prepared our communities when it comes to responding to emergencies.

There is no politics in this and let's not try to downplay the severity of the threat posed by the virus since it continues to claim lives in many countries ever since experts around the world first sounded the alarm about the highly contagious virus in early January.

What is more worrisome is the fact that as we fast approach the Muslims festive period of Edul Adha, there is fear that the number of cases may even rise further. Because there will be mass movement of people across the borders and some of these people may come into contact the virus unknowingly and thereby transmitting others.

Government and the ministry should therefore make sure that people comply with health guidelines, with 100% use of face masks. On top of that, it should maintain public education and awareness about health and hygiene to ensure people do not become complacent and give the virus another chance to spread in the country.

Today, The Gambia has 19 active cases of covid-19, which explains that more measures need to be taken.

"In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path - the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love"

Amit Ray

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