Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) has announced it will distribute 50,000 locally-made facemasks to 18 markets within the municipality aimed at preventing spread of Covid-19, a respiratory disease cause by coronavirus.

The council however said it will start the initiative with 5000 facemasks which will be given to the markets committees for distribution.

Speaking at the launch, KMC’s Lord Mayor Ahmed Talib Bensouda said “stopping the spread of Covid-19, the council is launching an initiative today to distribute 50,000 facemasks in the KMC’s 18 markets.”

“Today the initiative is deploying 5000 facemasks through the markets’ committees in the municipality, he added.

According to him, the council wrote to the Health ministry to identify scientific specifications for locally made facemasks which includes “to have multiple layers of fabrics, material should be breathable, should contain materials with hydrophobic properties to keep droplets inside the masks, and shape of the mask should entirely cover your mouth, chin and go up to your ears.

“The locally facemasks can be worn multiple times and users are encouraged to wash the facemasks daily with warm soapy water, if possible, the public is encouraged to have two facemasks, so one can be worn while other is being washed,” he said.

He urged the pubic especially the market vendors to always use facemasks as well as urged them to exercise social distancing to help fight against Covid-19.

Representing the Ministry of Health, Musa Camara, regional principal public health official, described the initiative as “monumental” saying “everyone is vulnerable as Covid-19 is concerned because Covid-19 doesn’t status.”

He however called for the community’s support in fight against coronavirus as he revealed that his ministry is putting up interventions in place with partners to fight the virus.

Ndey Fatou Njie, founder of TIKA who spoke on behalf of tailors lamented about the negative impact of the virus saying “as a young businessowner in the tourism industry I may not go further to explain how my business is being affected by Covid-19 and the impact it will have on so many businesses in different sectors in The Gambia.

“The initiative has enabled us the tailors not only to produce facemasks to help prevent the spread of the virus but also earn revenue for ourselves and employees,” she added.

The Gambia’s coronavirus is at the peak of 24 cases with 9 recoveries and 1 death.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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