By Cherno Omar Bobb
The minister of Health Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh,has reminded Gambians that the wearing of face masks is still mandatory in the country and that the government would strictly enforce it without compromise.
Speaking on Monday during the first-ever virtual concert organised by the Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) to thank frontline workers who continue to do well during the pandemic, he called on the people to continue with social distancing, wearing of face masksand hand washing.
Dr. Samateh added that since the advent of the COVID 19 pandemic in the country seven months ago, the socio-economic activities of the country had been affected, he however hailed the frontline health workers, volunteers and those who supported their collective efforts in ensuring the chain of transmission is broken and affected people given the treatment they deserved. He stated that that the pandemic is still on with an increasing number of positive cases in the country and that there is a surge in some countries.
Dr. Samateh went on to highlight that it is worth adhering to the WHO and his ministry’s guidelines so that the pandemic can be done away with for people to go back to their normal lives. He noted that they are working with partners to ensure that the Gambia is part of those countries supposed to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“As a government we cannot thank the Gambia Red Cross Society enough for the commitment, passion, availability and resources they committed towards the fight against the pandemic”, he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the secretary general of GRCS Alasan Senghore, said people no longer respect WHO and ministry of health guidelines, adding that to limit transmission and eliminate the pandemic in the country people must adhere to the guidelines.
“We are a small country with a small population that live in families”, he went on, adding that transmission of the coronavirus can cause havoc in a Gambian context. Mr. Senghore also said that COVID 19 still exists and therefore people need to take responsibilities as individuals, communities and as a nation. He noted that they are well-equipped to face the challenge in complimenting the efforts of the government and the ministry of health in the fight against the pandemic.
The president GRCS Jatto Sillah also urged Gambians to continue observing the preventive measures put in place by WHO and the ministry of health. He thanked GRCS management and volunteers, those who supported them throughout the pandemic and the government for their support and the right atmosphere given to them.
Meanwhile, the concert was also meant to entertain and educate the public on the COVID 19 pandemic, ensure people stay at home as well as adhere to preventive measures put in place by WHO and the ministry of health.
The concert featured such artists like the famous Humanity Stars, Barhama, Bright Stars, among others.It was sponsored by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The Gambia has so far registered a total number of 3,876 positive cases since the confirmation of the first case in The Gambia on 16 March 2020. The country has also recorded 125 deaths and currently has 72 active cases.