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Covid-19 cases hit 20,000 mark in Senegal, locals urge mask mandate

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Residents of the Senegalese capital Dakar have made a passionate appeal for the wearing of masks. Last week, locals in this West African nation protested against fresh restrictions to help curb spread of the coronavirus.

Some want a mandatory regulation to force people to put on a mask.

"It can help because, for example, you may pass somewhere where people are talking or coughing and so on, it may surprise you. So I think that wearing a mask should be compulsory everywhere", said bank clerk, Ndiawar Wade.

Covid-19 cases here have crossed the 20,000 mark. That's why President Macky Sall declared a state of emergency Wednesday and a dawn to dusk curfew.

"You know that in Africa, there are people you have to correct, because there are some stubborn people. If I don't put the mask on, the police make me pay, but if it's just you and me, I don't put the mask on. Sometimes the police [are right], you know", municipal worker, Abdourahmane Sanoh said.

Health officials say they are working to avoid an importation of the new variant of the virus which has been recorded in South Africa and the UK into the country.

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