The GFA party welcomes the government’s declaration of a state of emergency, calling all citizens and residents of the Gambia to join the fight against a global viral pandemic that is threatening the survival of nation states.
As a responsible political party, we call on all Gambians and residents of the Gambia to work closely with the authorities to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.
Recognizing that there is a lot at stake for the welfare and well-being of Gambians, we believe the President’s address should have included more details on the current situation as updated, and what would be the expected results of the government’s intervention.
Aware that a significant amount of tax payers’ money is being pledged to fund the fight against COVID-19, it will not be unreasonable to expect the president to tell the nation how this emergency funding will translate into extra emergency hospital beds, ventilators, and other life support equipment. This will provide an indication of how the money pledged will be used to ensure greater impact and transparency, and avoid the temptation of bureaucratic waste.
To that extent, we urge the authorities to take note of the following points, which need to be part of any meaningful programme to defeat this threatening menace.
1. Prioritise the protection and training for all COVID-19 front line workers.
2. Provide accessible and affordable COVID-19 testing for all who need it.
3. Improve quarantine facilities to provide reasonable comfort to those who need to undergo mandatory quarantine.
4. Increase emergency treatment facilities for all COVID-19 Positive cases.
5. Significantly increase education and sensitization activities using all available media.
6. Ease the plight of vulnerable members of the community by increasing the scope of government’s poverty alleviation programmes to cover them for the emergency period.
7. Monitor and ensure accountability in the performance of all entities involved in the management of COVID-19 prevention, detection and treatment.
8. Keep focused on the broad economy, so that post COVID-19 economic recovery will be as painless as possible for the Gambian taxpayer.
9. Issue very clear guidelines for infection control following death from COVID-19.
Gambia For All (GFA)