By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
State House Director of Press and Public relations (DPPR) officer Amie Bojang Sissoho revealed she “wouldn’t know what is keeping” the President from addressing the Nation and that “it’s the decision for the President to come out. And that decision is with him”. In a surprising admission, she claimed she was not aware of any investigation on how the virus got into State House. The DPPR made this revelation on the popular morning show, Coffee time with Peter Gomez aired on West Coast Radio on 10th August 2020.
No Investigation on Covid 19 State House Breach
In an interview conducted by Alhagie Kolley, he asked the DPPR if there was “an investigation on how the Coronavirus got into State House because we understand that there were 8 Senegalese soldiers who went to Senegal and came back with the virus?”
Not only was the State House official unaware of the importance of addressing such a concern she thought it was not the way to keep State House Covid 19 free. “Am not told that and am not aware of that. How it came into the State House, I don’t know that” she said.
When asked if there were “attempts to investigate and find out how the virus got into State House?” She said, “I have not investigated that and I don’t think it’s a matter of where the virus comes from but what do we do when we have the virus.”
Is the President Taking the Pandemic Seriously?
In a presser signed by Government Spokesperson Ebrima Sanakareh, the public was reminded to “accept the seriousness of the Covid 19 Virus”. The statement read “it is gratifying to report that the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, has checked out of his quarantine facility moments ago after his second Covid-19 test results turned NEGATIVE.”
“Dr Samateh now returns to work and wishes to remind Gambians and all residents to accept the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus.” On hand to ask if the President was taking the matter seriously enough to address the public was Journalist Alhagie Kolley.
“People said the Presidency don’t take tend to this virus seriously and hardly we see the President coming to the public domain to address Gambians. What is keeping the President from coming publicly to discuss with Gambians as to the virus in the country?” he asked the DPPR, Madam Sissoho.
“I wouldn’t know what is keeping him when the President wants to address the public the President addresses the public and he comes out to address the public at the time when he has the relevant information and the need to do it,” she said.
Mr Kolley pressed right on, asking “do you think as the situation is currently should the President come out and talk to Gambians?” Refusing to give her opinion on the matter she said “it’s not my opinion that matters it’s the decision for the President to come out. And that decision is with him.”
CSOs and Frontline Workers Petition
Since Friday a letter was sent to the President’s Office urging him to “emerge from the wilderness and show leadership by addressing the nation rather than depend on his spokespersons to communicate with his citizens.”
During the Coffee Time Radio show this morning the DPPR was asked if she could confirm that her boss who is self-isolating after being exposed to colleagues with Covid 19 received the CSOs letter? She confirmed receipt of the letter saying the “letter came on Friday afternoon and it’s over the weekend so, I don’t think the President will have access to that letter over the weekend.” She went further to explain that “the letter will be sent to the appropriate authorities to process. Letters don’t go straight to the President; they go through the records office from the records office it goes to the right action officer.”
Cabinet Ministers Self Isolation Update
Speaking to Journalist Alhagie Kolley the DPPR was asked: “how is the President dealing with the current situation, given that, of course, he tested negative but his colleagues tested positive how is the President currently coping with the situation?”
“He copes like everybody would cope when there is a situation you try to understand what is going on and you deal with it,” she said.
Two days back, State House Facebook page announced that both the Vice President and the Minister of Health had tested negative after two coronavirus tests were conducted on both Cabinet Ministers. Many others are still in self-isolation.
The statement detailed that “the Office of the President is pleased to inform the public that Her Excellency, the Vice President, Dr Isatou Touray has been responding to treatment and her second sample test result which was conducted 5th August 2020 came out negative for COVID 19 [on] 8th August 2020.”
Asked besides the President some of his Cabinet Ministers tested positive and some were on quarantine what the update was on their situation. “The updates that I’ve got is that everybody is trying to respond to the treatment they are on because right now remember that some of them when we talk about Covid its not just the issue of the virus itself but the underlining conditions that people have individually. So, as far as I know, right now it’s the report of the Vice President and the Minister of Health that I have access to.”
And are they responding to treatment? Journalist Kolley asked “actually, very well, in fact, the last results of their test came out negative” responded Madam Sissoho.