Senegalese authorities announced on Monday, June 1, that the current state of emergency will be extended until Thursday, July 2, in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The declaration gives authorities the power to regulate the movement of goods, and people, as well as to close public places and introduce border entry bans. A nationwide curfew between 21:00 and 05:00 (local time) remains in effect for the duration of the state of emergency.
The Senegalese Ministry of Interior previously announced that the issuance of special permits to travel within the country has been suspended on Wednesday, May 20, as of 21:00 (local time) until further notice due to the pandemic. The movement of people and goods between departments is now prohibited, except in the Dakar region. Exceptions will also be made for the transport of bodies or for health-related emergencies. Other restrictive measures remain in place; the use of face masks is mandatory in public places, and there is a ban on gatherings and demonstrations.
On Monday, May 11, mosques and churches were allowed to reopen, and markets and businesses that are subject to specific opening days are allowed to operate for six days a week and must close for one day to clean the premises. The country's borders remain closed until Tuesday, June 30, although cargo transportation is allowed.
As of June 1, authorities have confirmed 3739 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 42 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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