STATEMENT ON EMERGENCY SITUATION CREATED BY CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19 IN THE GAMBIA.
Official confirmation last night that our country has registered its first case of the global pandemic dubbed Coronavirus is received as a matter of grave concern. Gambia For All, as a party, sees the development as tantamount to an emergency posing a major threat to public health, with adverse consequences for the economy and other aspects of our national life.
We laud the measures announced by the authorities to combat the menace, including the setting up of a Task Team within the Ministry of Health to coordinate and spearhead actions designed to deal with the situation. However, given the magnitude and complexity of the challenges, Gambia For All considers that these efforts need to be complemented with support from the whole nation. In that regard we take note of initiatives announced by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in the name of the local business community, and hope other bodies as well as individuals will come forward to be counted in this national endeavour. This is time for our nation to pull itself together and work to combat this menace.
For its part, Gambia For All stands in solidarity with our country and people in their fight to safeguard the health of our populace by practical steps that should make it possible to identify all suspected cases, isolate and treat those infected by the virus while helping to protect the rest. As a party, we have interrupted and suspended our on-going Grand Tour of the country, an activity led by our Secretary General in person. We stand ready to support and participate in any practical operations, which the authorities may design in the coming days and weeks. Through our party structures up and down the country, we have started to spread word and to contribute to raising public awareness. Gambia For All strongly advises Gambians to abide strictly by the advice and recommendations that will emanate from the Ministry of Health’s Task Team, especially in matters of personal hygiene and public gatherings.
Finally, the situation is bound to call for a substantial outlay of resources in unanticipated expenditure, even as it will at the same time occasion significant unavoidable revenue shortfalls for the state. It will therefore become inevitable for the Government to revise its expenditure priorities; we call on the authorities to undertake an urgent review of the budget to set more realistic national priorities.
We reiterate the call for Gambians to rally to the cause of standing in support of our nation in its hour of need, as it stares in face a real and grave peril. An exceptional situation calls for exceptional measures. Placed in similar situations and faced with comparable challenges, other peoples throughout history have demonstrated such a will and grim determination and have survived. We too can.
Gambia For All
Block 6A Kaniﬁng Estate
P. O. Box 3201 Serrekunda