Panafrican News Agency

Coronavirus -Gambia records one new case, as Gambians throng markets

Banjul, Gambia(PANA)  - The Gambia Friday recorded one new case of coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the overall cases 25, as people thronged the markets buying  basic necessities to celebrate the end of Ramadan or Eid ul-Fitr.

The Ministry of Health announced that the new case was a 58-year-old Gambian female who had been in quarantine after recently returning from the southern Senegalese region of Casamance.

PANA observed Gambian shoppers busily shopping in Banjul, the capital and commercial city, Serrekunda,  about10km outside Banjul, Brikama in the West Coast Region and in all towns and villages as restriction measures were eased.

The Gambia has been in partial lockdown since the country recorded its first coronavirus case in March 2020.

Already, the country has recorded a total of 25 cases, nine recoveries and one death.

Despite the rise in the country’s coronavirus cases, the National Assembly Saturday rejected a government motion seeking to extend the lockdown by 45 days.

After two days of deliberation, lawmakers unanimously rejected the government’s lockdown extension request, citing the hardships and pain it caused people.

President Barraw Tuesday extended The Gambia’s state of public emergency for 21 days in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Constitution.

The move followed the government’s request for an extension tabled on Friday, May 16.

In a nationwide address here, President Barrow said: “I have invoked the powers conferred on me by Section 34(6) of the 1997 Constitution to further declare by proclamation published in the gazette, effective today, 19th May, 2020, that a state of public emergency continues to exist in the whole of The Gambia.”

In The Gambia, some 10.1 percent of the population live below the international the poverty line, with many living from hand to mouth.

But experts have projected that the country could be hit by hundreds of cases if social distancing is ignored.

Many lawmakers have called on the Barrow administration to exert tough controls on the country’s borders.


-0-   PANA    MSS/RA   22May2020