By Hatab Nyang / Louise Jobe
Golden Lead Fishmeal Processing Factory in Gunjur resumed operation on Thursday, April 9th, 2020.
All three (3) processing fishmeal factories alongside the Atlantic coastline in the country were shut down since the presidential declaration on the state of public emergency. The declaration was geared towards curbing the COVID-19 virus in the country.
Among these declarations was the stoppage of stop public gatherings in all forms, closure of schools, downsizing the numbers of passengers in commercial and private vehicles, reduction of none essential staff at workplaces.
During the closure of the fishmeal factories, a lot of local boats were seen on the bank of the river.
Some people raised concerns about the authorisation of the re-opening of the factories in these trying times. They believe this will encourage Senegalese fishermen to enter the country and this might increase the spread of the virus.
Ebrima Jabang the fisheries officer at the Gunjur fish landing site declined to comment on the issue. A security officer at the Golden Lead Factory denied the reporters access to the Fishmeal Premises.
A letter written by the ministry of fisheries and copied to the ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior respectively as follows, was Dated 07 April 2020.
It stated that following consultations with relevant government authorities, their office was informing the management of the seafood processing establishments that they can resume operation, but with minimum staff.
“Furthermore, the management of the respective seafood processing establishment must ensure that the implementation of the following guidelines adopted by the Ministry of Health,” the letter pointed out.
Part of these regulations are1. Regular and proper handwashing with soap. 2. Adhere to the principles of social distancing. 3. Properly cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing.