By Momodou Jarju
The Writers Association of The Gambia (WAG) said they have joined the global bandwagon to fight against the spread of the Coronavirus.
This was disclosed at a press conference the Association organized amid global concerns and calls for all to join the fight to end the pandemic from spreading.
Though the Gambia is yet to register any case from this global pandemic, hundreds of people are currently under surveillance and eight suspects tested negative some few days ago, according to information from the Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmad Samateh.
The Association which promotes literary culture said they intend to do this through poetry, sketches, speeches and dialogue, in order to enhance public awareness on the best ways to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. The Association informed that they will use the World Health Organization’s (WHO) information to campaign against the deadly disease.
Speaking at the conference, the Secretary General of WAG Modou Lamin Age Almusaf Sowe, said they want to complement Government’s efforts towards ensuring that Gambians are protected from the virus; that it is timely and necessary as a community of Gambian writers to sensitize the public in order to avoid fear and panic. Sowe urged all writers and members of other creative groups in the country to join the fight against the deadly disease.
The President of WAG Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, said the Association is conscious of the pandemic which is unheard of for a long time. Dr. Barry said they are ready to sensitize people if the resources are available; that the Gambia cannot allow its economy to be harmed by the presence of the virus. He said they are not raising any alarm, but that everybody has to prepare to prevent the virus from entering the country; that to do this, everyone must partake in the fight to stop it from spreading.
Musa Kejera, the CEO of Hamza Trading and Real Estate, thanked WAG for the initiative. Kejera said the coronavirus has led to travel bans and business slowdowns among others which are causing panic across the world; that all should joined WAG because this is a national call.
The Director General of National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC) Hassoum Ceesay, commended WAG for the initiative.
“The idea is to encourage writers in their poems, in their short stories and in their sketches, to sensitize everyone so that the disease will not reach our country,” he said.
He said the NCAC intends to mobilize and engage all artistic groups including all musicians, dancers, filmmakers, dramatists amongst others, to engage in the sensitization of the public about this deadly disease.
Assistant Secretary General of WAG Kebba Mambury said this global pandemic and its high death rate is unbearable.
Part of the press conference was a poem recitation by one of the young promising poets in the country in the person of Omar NK Ceesay. The poem is entitled: “Panic of the Pandemic Corona.” The Association is gearing up to publish books as soon as possible about the viral disease to strengthen the sensitization.
If readers can recall, the neighboring country of Senegal has registered over twenty confirmed cases of Covid-19 which is the highest number of case of the disease in the ECOWAS sub-region. And according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of cases on the African continent continues to rise with only two deaths reported so far; that globally, the total number of coronavirus cases has increased to over 150, 000 thousand patients with a death toll of close to 6, 000 people.