Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Gambian lawmakers have adopted a motion for the extension of the period of State of Public Emergency for 45 days throughout the country with effect from 3 April, to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Approving the extension, the legislators said it will allow the executive to undertake measures to control the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacarr M Tambedou, on Thursday tabled the government motion before the lawmakers for the extension of Presidential seven days public emergency decree to 90 days but it was referred to the Assembly’s standing-committee on human rights and constitutional matters.
After going through the standing committee on human rights and constitutional matters lawmakers approved the committee recommendations for a 45 days extension instead of 90.
Within the 45 days, bars, casinos, and gaming palours, cinemas and video clubs, events halls, gymnasia, stadia, night clubs, public swimming pools, sporting areas shall remain closed to the public.
The West African nation on Wednesday discharged its two patients diagnosed last month with the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19). They have recovered.
Justice Minister Tambadou told Members of Parliament that by seeking for extension of the public emergency, government was not proposing a lockdown but a fight to prevent Covid-19 pandemic from spreading in the country.
“We are calling for the extension of the state of emergency so that government can put in place restrictions in the form of regulations that can provide protection to the people of The Gambia from Covid-19 pandemic. Three of the four regulations presented to the parliament are to restrict movement and prevent infection,” he said.
For his part, Health Minister Ahmadou Lamin Samateh said the reason for the extension of the state of public emergency is to avoid the spread of the virus.
-0- PANA MSS/AR 4Apr2020