The Government and the National Assembly made the wrong decision to revoke the scope of the President’s Emergency Powers, and the Coronavirus State of Public Emergency powers (SOPE) allow reopening of public places like restaurants, places of worship to a severe violation of social distancing or face-covering rules.

Moreover, revoking the SOPE restrictions has almost certainly lead to more novel coronavirus infection and deaths. Rush to reopen businesses, and the sudden relaxation of restrictions increase in supply new targets for the coronavirus that has kept the country mostly lost. 

The mathematical models and the basic rules that govern infectious diseases are to respect and follow expert guidelines as provided by the Gambia government and the WHO procedures of International Public Health regulations. 

Many of the earliest reopenings have probably been confusing, chaotic, and risky, especially in worship places and in graveyards.

One does not need to have been privy to the discussions to arrive at this conclusion. The all too familiar African irrational tendency towards superstition and the supernatural must have informed the decision. 

Specifically, the negro’s irrational tendency to throng places of worship, even where the problem is purely temporal or scientific, must have informed the Government’s decision. 

If the hypothesis of the general nature of the African homo sapiens is correct, it can only mean that the Government’s decision is also wrong from a scientific or disease management point of view.

We agree with the decision to close bars. Some Gambians are not serious. You see, a bar and folks are crowded in tables without their face masks, imbibing their favorite drinks and talking loudly. 

However, the Covid-19 virus is airborne and can be spread by folks who are asymptomatic.

We have to appeal to the concerned authorities once again, please keep safe and do their best to ensure people stay alive. 

Do not let anyone, whether religious leaders or any political leaders, drive Gambians like sheep to the slaughter. If they (the Government and the disease control authorities) said that August is going to be the peak of the infection, why should they ask people to rush in reopen the Mosques and churches, and allow social gatherings again without restrictions?

Please keep safe and do your best to keep Gambians alive by keeping all the necessary social and physical distancing restrictions on public activities. 

We know that by God’s grace, this pandemic like the others before it has an expiry date. It shall not see our end. We shall see its end in the mighty name of God.

Even though the Government had the right to shut the worship places, it does not have the right to force citizens to reopen the worship centers and public places. 

The state government might have caved in to pressure religious leaders to lift the ban it earlier placed on religious and social gatherings.

This may rub many the wrong way, but it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Stay home! Sanitize! Keep social distance! Viva!

By Alagi Yorro Jallow 

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