Africa: Gambia closes airspace, land borders with Senegal

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The Gambian Government has closed the country’s airspace and land borders with its neighbour, Senegal, to contain the Coronavirus spread.

The decision to close its borders according to statement was based on consultations and an update from the Ministerial Committee on the Coronavirus in the country.

According to a statement by the government, the closure of the border was a mutual agreement between the Gambia and the Republic of Senegal to close their border for a period of 21 days in the bid to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Gambia has also closed its airspace from all flights except for medical cargo flights. The closure will also begin midnight on Monday, 23rd March 2020, for a period of 21 days.

“Following consultations and an update from the Ministerial Committee on the Coronovirus, His Excellency, President Adama Barrow has approved the closure of the border between the Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of Senegal, effective midnight, on Monday, 23rd March 2020.

“The decision of the closure of the border was taken considering the rapid spread of COVID -19 in the world and in our region, and the continuous movement of people posing high risk of contracting the disease. The Government of the Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of Senegal have mutually agreed to close their border for a period of 21 days in the bid to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The public is hereby informed that the closure will not affect essential services, such as movement of security personnel, foodstuff, medical services, related items and equipment between the two countries.

“Furthermore, the Republic of the Gambia has decided to close its airspace from all flights except for medical cargo flights. This closure will also begin midnight on Monday, 23rd March 2020, for a period of 21 days.

“Meanwhile, President Barrow reiterates his commendation to the national response teams and committees, all the frontline workers, community and religious leaders, political leaders, the business community, all citizens and people living in The Gambia for their cooperation and standing with his government during these trying times. The President further urges all to take responsibility to prevent, contain and manage the Coronavirus.”

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