The Federal Government of Gambia has declared a 21-day state of emergency in response to the rise in COVID19 cases in the country of recent.
In a statement released on Wednesday, August 5, by the presidency, it said that the government had also imposed a night time curfew and the country’s borders and airspace have been locked down till the 21 day period passes and improvements follow.
“All land, sea, and air borders of Gambia remain closed. Entry and exit of persons into Gambia is suspended except for diplomats, drivers of essential commodities and persons seeking urgent medical attention abroad,” the statement said.
The lockdown comes with exemptions for only cargo and humanitarian/emergency flights evacuating Gambians, diplomats, or humanitarian workers who will be allowed to the country but must present a COVID-19 test with a negative result at least 72 hours before boarding.
“Any passenger destined for Gambia shall be in possession of a valid certificate from points of departure indicating that he or she took a COVID-19 test with a negative result at least 72 hours before boarding. A person who breaches this regulation on the border closures commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of Five Thousand Gambian Dalasi,” the statement noted.
Places of worship and schools have also been closed down for now with exemption to a few number of establishments like grocery stores, markets, banks, and all businesses classified as essential, workers on official COVID-19 duties, ambulances, and public officials on essential assignments.
The Gambia has now recorded nearly 700 COVID19 cases and 16 deaths. The vice-president and three ministers are among those infected by the virus, while the president tested negative on Monday after fears shook the country of him being infected.