The Gabonese President triggered a controversy on Friday evening by announcing that vaccinated people will be exempted from certain restrictions, including participation in meetings or worship throughout the country. This statement made by the Gabonese Head of State, Ali Bongo, on the national radio, gives a new connotation to this vaccination which is visibly made mandatory.
« Vaccinated persons will be exempt from certain restrictions in force. They will be able to move freely during the curfew, within the country and in some public places, or participate without constraint in meetings of worship and sports activities », these are the words of the Gabonese President, Ali Bongo, during his speech on Friday evening, on the restriction measures against Covid-19 in Gabon.
With more than 24,000 cases of the Coronavirus in this Central African country, « to date, about 14,000 people have already been vaccinated, and this is just the beginning. In the next few weeks, this number will increase considerably, » said Bongo.
« Contradictory measures
This 15-minute speech was not to the taste of some Gabonese who called it « blackmail ». For Marc Ona Essangui, « why are they afraid to declare openly that they make the vaccine mandatory instead of taking contradictory measures that are difficult to enforce in the street? « The Gabonese constitution prohibits all forms of discrimination. Even towards those who voluntarily refuse vaccination ».
In addition, Mr. Bongo also announced the easing of restrictive measures put in place to fight against the Coronavirus pandemic in the country. « First of all, the beginning of the curfew is postponed to 21 hours, to allow us to resume certain economic or social activities that had been in lethargy. As for restaurants and bars, they will be able to open until 8.30pm. Their access will be conditioned by the presentation of a PCR test valid for 14 days or a Covid-19 vaccination card, » said the Gabonese head of state.