Panafrican News Agency

‘Gambia continues to remain vigilant to prevent, contain and manage spread of virus’- Jallow

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) – Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice Dawda A. Jallow said here Friday that the West African nation would continue to remain vigilant and steadfast in intensifying measures to prevent, contain and manage the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“As of November 9th, 2020, the Gambia recorded a total of 3,696 COVID-19 cases out of which 3, 543 have recovered and 122 died. We currently have 12 active cases under treatment,” he disclosed at the opening of the 67th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (virtual session) here.

He said, as part of its preventive measures, the government had declared a state of public emergency at different times between March and September 2020 to restrict the movement of people to contain the spread of the virus.

He also said the essential services provided by banks, petrol stations, traders and vendors in food and basic commodities in the markets, supermarkets and corner-shops were allowed to operate.

“Recognizing the urgent need for a national response to both the health and socio- economic crisis resulting from losses in productivity and remittances to Gambian households, the government conducted a thorough review and allocated about 800 million Dalasis to support deserving households countrywide.

To this end, between April and May 2020, the government equitably shared more than 230,000 bags of rice, 230,000 bags of sugar, 148, 0000 litres of cooking oil to 84 per cent of the country’s vulnerable households as part of its food relief package,” Jallow disclosed.

He added: “As part of efforts to prevent the spread of the virus in our prisons, the Government took proactive steps to decongest the prisons by pardoning more than 120 prisoners and granting court bail to 100 remand prisoners.

“Additionally, the Judiciary introduced a virtual court system to hear bail applications during the pandemic.”

According to him, relation to country transitional justice processes and the transition to a fully-fledged democracy, a new draft Constitution was produced by the Constitutional Review Commission following extensive consultations nationwide and with Gambian nationals in the Diaspora.

Jallow stated that the draft which was subsequently submitted to the National Assembly in September could not pass the threshold required to proceed to a referendum.

He added that a process of dialogue with the leadership of all political parties had been initiated with a view to building consensus on all the contentious issues, with a view to re-submitting the draft to the National Assembly.


-0-    PANA    MSS/RA   13Nov2020