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Senegal reintroduces restrictive measures to combat COVID-19 as cases rise

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Senegal has reintroduced restrictive measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, following a pronounced rise in cases.  

The Senegalese Minister of the Interior Aly Ngouye Ndiaye told a press conference in Dakar that, since the lifting of the state of emergency, the government had noticed what he called "a certain laxity" amongst members of the public in terms of masks and social distancing.

He said figures clearly demonstrated a very large increase in recorded cases during May, from 757 to 2,737.

He said the measures would take "immediate effect" and included "a ban on gatherings at beaches, sports grounds, public spaces and theatres" as well as "prohibition of all demonstrations on the public highway, especially in the Dakar region."

Mr Ndiaye continued: 

"Mandatory wearing of the mask in the services of the administration and the private sector, in shops, in transport (must be observed)."  

He also called for "scrupulous respect of the orders of the Minister of Transport concerning the number of authorised spaces in public transport. 

"Any violation of these provisions exposes the perpetrator to penal sanctions, which may range from a fine to imprisonment, in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Contraventions."

Mr Ndiaye said he hoped the police would strictly enforce these measures.

Since the beginning of March, Senegal has declared a total of 10,887 cases of coronavirus, including 225 fatalities.

The country lifted the curfew and state of emergency at the end of June and international flights resumed on July 15, despite the increase in the number of cases. Land borders still remain closed.

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