Tuesday, January 26, 2021

EMERGENCY POWERS MUST SERVE THE PUBLIC INTEREST: The National Assembly is the oversight (overseer)

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COVID-19 is a killer capable of eradicating 2.3 million Gambians from the face of the earth.

This must not be forgotten. The virus is contagious and can move rapidly from one human being to another through close contact. This is why reasonable distancing between people and frequent washing of hands are some of the preventive measures recommended to defeat the virus. Powers are provided to control borders, keep people in ideal locations to observe the symptoms for the period required to detect any prevalence of the virus, temporary closure of schools in the absence of adequate protective outfits and reasonable justifiable measures in a democratic society.

On the other hand, many measures are now being implemented without proper assessment of their impact on the living conditions of the population. It is vital for the government to evaluate the impact of the regulations on those who deliver or benefit from services to see whether the regulations could be adjusted to ensure the delivery of efficient services without compromising the preventive measures outlined to deal with the illness. Anywhere it is discovered that services could be rendered by maintaining social distancing and the sanitary conditions required to prevent the spread of the illness the regulations should be recalibrated to suit the prevailing circumstances.

Foroyaa will continue to monitor compliance and link them to the authorities responsible for addressing such complaints.

It is noteworthy that the National Assembly should sit within 21 days to evaluate whether the state of public emergency should continue or not. Otherwise the declaration will be null and void.

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