Senegal’s COVID-19 cases top 4,000 as more restrictive measures eased

Friday, June 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Photo shows an empty classroom in a school in Dakar, Senegal, after the government postponed the resumption of classes. (Xinhua/Eddy Peters)


Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action announced 89 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections to 4,021 in the country.

Out of 1,348 tests carried out in the past 24 hours, 89 returned positive, including 74 follow-up contact cases and 15 community transmission cases, Senegalese health minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr said at the daily briefing.

Sarr said a total of 99 patients tested negative, thus declared cured, raising the total number of recoveries to 2,162 since the outbreak of the pandemic on March 2 in the country.

The number of patients under intensive care dropped to 16, while the number of deaths stayed at 45.

Among the confirmed cases, there are 3,528 follow-up contact cases, 402 community transmission cases and 91 imported ones.

According to Senegalese health minister, the strategy adopted by Senegal has allowed the country to control the epidemic.

Senegal has carried out a total of 49,090 tests since the outbreak of the pandemic. The positivity rate is 7.36 percent and the mortality rate is 1.12 percent, he announced.

"We are seeing a downward trend in the confirmed case curve. However, this situation should not constitute a reason for slackening, but rather engage us in an adaptation of our response strategies, in particular in the region of Dakar," the minister stressed.

He revealed the new strategy which includes greater rigor in respecting barrier measures, in particular the obligation to wear a mask, regular hand washing as well as social distancing.

Also during the daily briefing, Senegalese Interior minister Aly Ngouille Ndiaye announced the easing of curfew, which will be further shortened to between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m..

He also announced that gyms are now allowed to open, as well as private meetings, under the condition that people respect barrier measures, especially mandatory wearing of masks and social distancing. However, bars, night clubs and beaches would remain closed.

Speaking of the demonstrations against state of emergency and curfew in the past 48 hours across the country, during which more than 200 were arrested, he called on the public to respect the measures taken by the government.

As for the inter-regional transportation, the minister said they would be allowed to resume from Sunday.

Meanwhile, the ministry of Tourism and Air Transport announced the gradual resumption of domestic flights from June 15, while the resumption of international flights would be evaluated around the end of June.

Although the government decided to ease more restrictive measures, Senegal is still under state of emergency with its air borders closed until at least June 30. (Xinhua)

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