Mai Fatty Describes Gambia’s Quarantine Centre as ‘Classified Prisons’

By Bakary Ceesay

Mai Fatty
Mai Fatty

Mai Ahmad Fatty, leader of opposition Gambia Moral Congress has described situation in Gambia’s quantine centres for the COVID-19 to classified prisons, despite the allocation of millions of dalasi for quarantine purposes.

Earlier on ministry of health presented the good pictures of these quarantine centres, in response to criticism on the prevailing conditions.

However, Fatty former president adviser on governance returned from Senegal recently after completion of his quarantine period,  has warned of the risk of rebellion from people held in intolerable conditions.

He explained: “When I went into quarantine, the first thing I noticed was that I found nothing in my room. I would have expected to find at least a facemask and some basic necessities that would be important for persons under quarantine. But nothing was there and some people were picked up from the streets with only one shirt. I don’t know whether the executive is aware but that is my experience.”

Mr Fatty said there is a growing despondency among frontline workers who work for very long hours and are paid with pittance.

“I can tell you in my conversation with these workers I got to know that some of them have to borrow fish money to feed their families and 90% of them have not seen their families for 3 weeks or more because they too are quarantined permanently. Morale is going down among them and if we allow this situation to continue then there is going to be a disaster for the country. This is an indictment. Some of them have not been paid. I wonder what happened to the Africell D12 million.

I am pleading with the government and the National Assembly to ensure that these people’s welfare is taken care of. Our public health workers deserve more than what they are getting today,” Fatty argued.

He said the government should support the families of the many breadwinners who are under quarantine.

“I can tell you that if the situation of our quarantine centres is not properly looked at, the quarantine plans will collapse. They provide only one meal a day for everybody under quarantine,” Fatty, also former interior minister lamented.

“I am appealing to the president to open up to even those who have different ideas to his own. He should remember that it is not about how he came to power but how he will exit power,” he said.

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