Halifa Sallah, the PDOIS Secretary General has called on Gambians to form a united front against the coronavirus, warning that the deadly disease is here and it is dangerous.
Mr. Sallah in an address to the nation on Tuesday, said extraordinary times require extraordinary measures; that thinkers have said that the sum of the parts cannot be equal to the whole; that Gambians cannot use limited measures to deal with a global pandemic. Halifa said the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the disease a global pandemic when it started in China, a nation of over one billion people; that it has now spread all over the world including the Gambia.
“The fact that the illness is found all the way in Numuyel, shows very clearly how small this world is. From France to Numuyel confirms to us that we are not isolated from the illness and from the sources of the infection. We must be prepared. But how prepared are we? Those who are entering the country from areas where the illness is prevalent must develop the maturity to be ready to be subjected to observation. That is the way to protect ourselves. That is the way to protect our families. It is also important for the State to know that when a person is discovered to have the symptoms, the person must be taken care of by someone. These are the health workers who are the front-line fighters of the pandemic. They are the sons and daughters of this country and must be provided with adequate outfits and gadgets so that when they handle those with the illness, they would not have any fear of their lives being put in danger. That is the primary task that must be handled with the 500 million dalasi allocation from the President, to deal with this pandemic.
Halifa said it is important for all Gambians to understand that preliminary clinical observations, is just one phase of prevention and protection; that clinical tests must be available to be able to fully come to terms on whether a person has the illness or not; that we must therefore equip the observatories and disease control centres, so that they will be able to handle the pandemic professionally; that it is also important to sensitize the citizenry so that the sources of infections can be handled with professionalism and maturity.
Halifa said cleanliness particularly washing of the hands is deemed to be one of the first ways of preventing the illness and that all these actions require resources.
“Therefore, the Gambian people as a whole must be ready to act collectively to be able to handle what is now an urgent crisis of monumental proportions. It is therefore important that each of us is ready to take one’s responsibility so that through concerted action, we will be able to defeat an enemy that is ready to commit deaths of monumental proportions against the citizenry of a whole country,’’ Sallah said; that this is a battle for our lives, the lives of our children and that of our children’s children and we must not allow ourselves to be complacent; that this is why this message is brought to all and sundry so that we can act together to live and defeat COVID-19. He concludes that we must act to defeat COVID-19 and we must act now.