By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Since 29th July 2020, the Gambia’s State House has been struggling with the Corona Virus. The Vice President was initially declared as positive on Wednesday 29th July 2020. This sparked concerns that the President may also be affected. At that point, it was announced that “President, Adama Barrow will be on self-isolation with immediate effect for two weeks”. Below is a Statement from the State House of the Gambia Facebook Page.
“Vice President Touray tested Positive for Covid19 – 29th July 2020
The Office of the President informs the public that Her Excellency, the Vice President, Dr. Isatou Touray has been tested positive for COVID-19. Consequently, the President, Adama Barrow will be on self-isolation with immediate effect for two weeks.
The public is reminded that the Coronavirus is real and exists in The Gambia. The public is advised to properly use face masks, maintain regular hand washing and social distancing in the fight against the virus. Stay at home and stay safe.”
Three days later over the weekend concerns on the health of the President continued to grow as people were concerned with the status of the President. On Sunday 2nd August 2020, another announcement was made declaring that three cabinet Ministers had also contracted the virus and had tested positive. Most notable the Minister of Finance, Hon. Mambury Njie also tested positive. This was the statement published from the State House of the Gambia Facebook page.
Three Cabinet Minister’s Test Positive – 2nd August 2020
“Finance Minister Mambureh Njie and two other Cabinet Ministers tested positive for Covid-19
The Office of the President informs the public that three Cabinet Ministers, Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mambureh Njie and Honourable Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Fafa Sanyang, and Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Amie Fabureh have tested positive for COVID-19.
The public is reminded that ‘Regulation No. 6’ of the Public Health (Dangerous Infectious Diseases) Protection Regulations, 2020 is in force, thus the compulsory wearing of face masks, temporary closure of non-essential public places and the prohibition of public and social gatherings.
Stay Safe, COVID 19 is Real.”
On Tuesday 4th August 2020 the negative result of the President was declared via social media. Some critics have highlighted that the President’s results took 5 days to announce since the Vice President was declared positive. This raised a number of eyebrows that the Head of State has to wait for almost a week to get their test declared to the entire country. Meanwhile, Cabinet Minister’s results were announced much quicker.
However, many people have been calling for the President to make a public appearance and address the nation. Various Political actors including Opposition Political Parties and Civil Society actors have called for the President to publicly address the nation given the increased number of positive cases and the rise in number of Covid 19 related deaths. Below is the statement from State House the Gambia Facebook page on President Barrow’s negative Covid 19 test result.
“President Barrow tested Negative for COVID -19 – 4th August 2020
The public is hereby informed that H.E Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia has tested negative for the Coronavirus. The President’s sample was taken on Thursday, 30th July 2020 and the results came out last night, Monday, 3rd August 2020.
The Office of the President seizes this opportunity to wish all those infected a speedy recovery and pray for the departed souls to rest in eternal peace.
Stay Safe; join the fight to contain and stop the spread of COVID-19.”