The Office of the President reminds the public that it has been five months since President Adama Barrow declared the first State of Public Emergency in The Gambia in accordance with the 1997 Constitution, to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, the President had issued series of public Emergency Declarations all geared towards ensuring that we contain the spread of the Corona Virus, reinforce the health response, assist the population with food and essential items and stimulate the economy. Present Barrow has been updated on the current realities as the experts continue to assess and monitor the health and socio-economic situation in the country.

As of Friday, 24th July, 2020, confirmed cases in the country stand at 170 with 101 active cases, 7 probable cases, 64 recovered patients. Unfortunately, five (5) people have lost their lives to COVID-19.

An assessment of the impact of scaling down on the Gambian economy has produced uncomfortable results. Accordingly, the economy will lose GMD2.5 billion and shrink by 3 percentage points- from the projected growth rate of 6.3 per cent in 2020 to 3.3 per cent.

Citizens are assured that safeguarding the lives of the people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable remains the immediate priority of President Barrow’s government and its partners. With 48.6% of our population of 2 million living below the poverty line, it is imperative that government, partners and citizens all take steps that will lessen the COVID-19 shock on the poverty level in the country and on vulnerable farming population as well as women and youth operating in the informal sector.

It is for this reason, and after consultation with health experts and the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Covid-19, that the President decided to lift the State of Public Emergency as of Wednesday night, 22 July 2020. While this decision is taken to reduce the hardship faced by households across the country and in consideration of other broader issues, The public is informed of the resumption of normal social and economic activities, albeit under stringent health and safety measures.

These measures include but not limited to observing strict social distancing rules, mandatory wearing of facemasks in all public places, including inside taxis and other public transports, markets and schools.

The Government has already gazetted the guidelines on the management of COVID-19 situation post emergency regulation. President Barrow calls on all Gambians to adhere to these guidelines and support health authorities in dealing with the pandemic. All are alerted that the security forces will not hesitate to enforce the guidelines especially in cases of repeated violations.