Covid-19: Dakar reacts (badly) to the curfew

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Dakar was the scene on the night of Wednesday to Thursday of protest demonstrations against the curfew reinstated in the evening in front of a progression of the Covid-19 which alarms the authorities, noted an AFP photographer. Groups of young people burned tires, erected barricades and threw projectiles at the police, who responded with tear gas fire in the Ngor neighborhood. Incidents have been reported in other districts of the Senegalese capital such as the Medina or Yoff and in its suburbs, in Pikine, Guédiawaye or Thiaroye. A curfew has been reinstated since Wednesday evening from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. GMT in the regions of Dakar and Thiès which concentrate almost 90% of cases of contamination by the coronavirus according to the authorities. The Council of Ministers justified these measures Wednesday evening by “a meteoric increase in contaminations, severe cases, serious cases and the number of deaths”.

The growing threat of Covid-19

After a setback, Senegal faces a second wave of the disease. As elsewhere in Africa, the figures are far from reaching those announced on other continents. But the disease puts strain on the health system of this poor country. It has also severely affected the economy of a country accustomed to growth in recent years. The reestablishment of the curfew worries part of the population, in particular the ultra-majority, who live from day to day working in the so-called informal economy. Street restaurateurs or street vendors, for example, are at risk of further backlash from the restrictions. A first curfew was introduced in March 2020 after the appearance of the first case. He had sparked violent demonstrations. It had been lifted in June. Senegal has declared more than 20,000 cases of contamination and 433 deaths.

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