Amid the surging cases of covid-19, Gabon’s state authorities decided to enact stringent measures. Residents who were of cause displeased staged protests hoping to reverse the ant-covid rules. This came at a time when Gabon’s economy had plunged. The people are hoping for the economy to improve once normalcy sets in.
Since Wednesday, Gabonese have been denouncing the country’s stringent regulations. They have been condemning their Government for reinstating suicidal measures to fight covid. On Thursday and Friday saw a spike in the number of demonstrators. The Pots and Pans revolution, who were walking in solitary in Libreville, kept chanting in unison, urging the Government to revisit the issue. They were using pots and pans to make noise in the streets.
It is not that Gabonese are too hardheaded to abide by the measures. The big question is, how will they feed, cloth, and pay house rent with lockdowns and curfews on. Unfortunately, the protests had degenerated into violence when police responding to the demonstrations fired live ammunition resulting in two deaths.
According to sources, the lad who happens to be a student at Omar Bongo University was lying lifeless in his pool of blood. Witnesses alleged that he was shot by a policeman while trying to flee the protests.
“Last night, it was the second day of the protest. A protest was shot. I am here in the neighborhood of PK 11. Behind me is where the police shot the young protestor,” Correspondent Jean Rovys Fababy reports.
Many reacted to the videos of the incident, which made rounds on social media. Relatives were crying; onlookers were standing by, the deceased was lying on the ground. It was a disturbing and sad scene. However, it is unfortunate the Government has not yet reacted. However, there were reports that President Ali Bongo and his council of Ministers met on Friday to talk about the issue. Meanwhile, the civilians eagerly await the Government’s next move.
Gabon’s Coronavirus Measures
Gabon is among the states in Africa with cases of COVID-19. As of now, it has confirmed 13553 cases, 12262 recoveries, and 75 deaths. Though the cases might not be alarming like in other states, the Government continues to impose rules as the virus is endemic. The second wave of infections is also tied to a variant of covid, which is highly contagious.
When Gabon confirmed its first case of covid, the state authorities did not hesitate to impose lockdown and curfew. Back then, the two measures were the ongoing trend. International travel was no more. The Government had closed all land and sea borders. Only limited flights, i.e., the ones carrying Gabonese, would land in their airports.
More so at that time, since China was undergoing discrimination, no flight from China would land in Gabon. Most of all, the passengers arriving in the country would have to present their covid certificate and alternatively get another test as they remain in isolation for roughly five days. Necessary health precautions like masking, sanitization, and social distancing were all mandatory.