On Thursday, June 4, the Senegalese government announced that it was relaxing the nationwide nighttime curfew and lifting restrictions on inter-regional travel following two nights of protests against restrictions imposed since March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). From Thursday, the nightly curfew will begin at 23:00 (local time), instead of 21:00, and still run until 05:00. Restaurants and gyms will also be permitted to reopen, providing they follow social distancing measures. Bars and beaches still remain closed and wearing a mask in public remains compulsory.
The announcement comes after recent protests against the impact of COVID-19 restrictions. Protesters set tires on fire and threw projectiles at security forces in Dakar on Wednesday, June 3, after similar scenes were witnessed in Touba (Diourbel region) on Tuesday, June 2. Security forces used tear gas to disperse demonstrators in both cities.
Senegalese authorities announced on Monday, June 1, that the current state of emergency will be extended until July 2. 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.
On 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 June 30, although cargo transportation is allowed.
As of June 4, authorities have confirmed 4021 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 45 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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