The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) has denied reports that the outgoing chief of Defence Staff wore white gloves during the handing over ceremony on Tuesday due to coronavirus fears.

Lt General Masaneh Kinteh was seen wearing a pair of gloves during the ceremony with the newly appointed army chief Major General Yakuba Drammeh who returned to the country last Sunday on a flight where a passenger tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The formal handing and taking over of office, baton of command and pulling – out ceremony was held on Tuesday 17 March in the form of a colorful parade with outgoing CDS, Lieutenant General Masanneh N Kinteh, dressed in ceremonial uniform with white hand gloves like all members of the parade,” GAF said in a statement.

“Lieutenant General Kinteh was dressed in this attire because the ceremony was about him and not a preventive measure by the outgoing CDS against the COVID-19 virus (as reported by some media outlets); the white gloves are part of the ceremonial dress in the military.” 

General Drammeh is now in self-isolation after he was contact traced by health officials and asked to self-isolate for 14 days. 

According to the GAF, the chief of Defence Staff has a negative results after being tested for the virus but was observing the self-isolation rule as recommended by health officials.

“It has to be made categorically clear that the decision by the Chief of Defence Staff to self-isolate was to show not only strict adherence to statutory health protocols but more importantly exemplary leadership on his part.”

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