COVID -19 CRISIS AND THE THREAT TO NATIONAL STABILITY

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COVID -19 CRISIS AND THE THREAT TO NATIONAL STABILITY

Recent releases from the State House and other media networks reveal the gravity of the crisis that this country is now going through with regard to the dangerous spread of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus.

The information coming out of the Ministry of Health and the State House indicates a national crisis the like of which the country has never seen. It seems the executive, which includes the presidency, and several cabinet ministers either have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine because of their close association to confirmed COVID-19 cases. As a nation, we wish them speedy recovery to enable them to continue to manage the affairs of state. To those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 we extend our deepfelt condolence to the bereaved families.

However, at this juncture, and more than ever before, we expect decisive leadership. The Head of State must come forward and fully assume responsibility for steering the ship of state to safety. The Gambia For All (GFA) from the onset has strongly advocated for strong and capable leadership and warned against the risk of reducing the crisis to its simplest dimension as just a public health issue. While we respect and recognize the professionalism of the Minister of Health, we believe that the full extent of the threat facing the nation is beyond the invocation of an obscure Dangerous Infectious Disease Act that appears to leave the responsibility of managing the crisis within the domain of the Ministry of Health.

The focus has to be on how to  implement decisive medically advised measures that will lead to limiting the spread of this menacing threat, and at the same time ensure that the institutions of state do not collapse, leaving behind a paralyzed nation.

GFA believes that in view of the seriousness of the crisis and the threat it poses to national stability, the National Assembly should convene an emergency session, via any safe means, and work closely with the Executive in a manner devoid of partisan politics to discuss and approve the implementation of measures geared towards defeating the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Such measures should include:

1) Strict implementation of medicallyapproved guidelines, which have been laid down by the Ministry of Health since the beginning of the pandemic and enforced by the security forces;
2) Mass testing of the population to discover the full extent of spread of the virus in the population, enabling targeted measures for greater effectiveness and efficiency;
3) Massive public education and sensitization campaign, emanating from the highest authority, which must emphasize the notion that COVID-19 is not only real, but everyone is vulnerable to the disease, and no one is excluded from the implementation of the limiting regulations; and
4) To support these measures, the authorities must also assess their impact on the livelihood of the population and apply corresponding mitigation measures that are devoid of political considerations and opportunism.

If we all act together with sincerity, having at heart the interest of the nation as our prime consideration, we can come out of this crisis stronger.  

GFA strongly advises all Gambians to fully respect the health guidelines and protect themselves, in doing so we will be protecting others.

God protect and bless the Gambia!                                                            __________________________________

National Executive Secretariat

Gambia For All

Ma-Jonka House, Block 6a Kanifing Estate

P.O. Box 3201 Serekuda

Tel220-7207617/5858645

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