Tourism and Culture Ministry rescinds decision as Eye Africa TV story causes public outcry

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA:- The Ministry of Tourism and Culture has rescinded its decision to cancel all upcoming festivals and shows amid COVID-19 fears, a close source told Eye Africa TV.

The decision came as the ministry faces public outcry following a story we have written regarding the issue. Eye Africa TV has earlier today reported that the said ministry was set to cancel all upcoming festivals and shows till further notice.

The story titled ‘Ministry of Tourism and Culture to cancel all festivals and shows amid COVVID-19’, got many Gambians asking the motive behind the move. As a result of several calls from concerned Gambians, the ministry decided to rescind its decision.

The reliable source, who is close to one of the festival organizers, said Hon. Hamat Bah has given a go-ahead for all the upcoming events including the Famous JanJangbureh Kankurang Festival.

The next few weeks are set to be a busy lineup for The Gambia as political events, shows, and festivals are scheduled to be held.

President Barrow’s NPP will be launching its party this Saturday and the event is expected to attract over 25000 militants from across the country. In February, his main rival, UDP is organizing a mega fundraising event at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

This weekend, Janjanbureh KanKurang Festival is on track to be held as more participants are gearing up to attend the cultural event. In early February, a famous Gambian Afromanding rap star, ST(Brikama boy) is planning to launch his latest album dubbed “Dinding Mansa” at the Independence Stadium. The cancellation of events by the ministry could have forced the organizers of these two programs and several others to reschedule.

The Gambia has so far registered 4,008 cases, out of which 3722 have recovered and 128 others died since the outbreak began in the country.

The Ministry of Health earlier today said it was dismayed by what it described as “serious and ruthless” misconduct of COVID-19 regulation evaders, stressing that the behavior will no longer be condoned under any circumstances.

The health ministry emphasized that “anyone found not willing to cooperate with COVID-19 regulations will have their names and identifying information published on the media and thereafter, drastic measures will be taken against anyone that is non-compliant.”

“It has come to the attention of the Senior Management of the Ministry of Health that there are confirmed positive COVID-19 cases who are currently at large and interacting with the public. Out of the total positives confirmed between 20th January to 25th January 2021, there are 40 confirmed positive cases that have refused isolation or have absconded treatment centers.

“Similarly, the management is also aware that there are a large number of travelers who recently arrived in The Gambia from hotspot countries that have refused to abide by official protocols and/or report to the health authorities for the mandatory test upon arrival.”

The ministry further urged the public to become more cautious and adhere to the advised safety precautions especially that with regard to social distancing, wearing of face masks in public, and avoiding large gatherings.

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