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Senegal raises COVID-19 state of emergency to protect the economy

Senegalese President Macky Sall yesterday declared he had decided to lift a state of emergency over the coronavirus to support the struggling economy, which he warned could grow less than 1.1% this year due to fallout from the epidemic.

In January, the national economic growth was forecast at 6.8% in 2020, but business activity plummeted after borders closed and a curfew and social distancing rules were imposed to stop the spreading of the virus, which has infected over 6,600 and killed about 108 people.

Senegal's President Macky Sall speaks during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. Image credit Reuters, Annegret Hilse

“This is the challenge we must face: to fight to preserve our lives and our health, and to resume all our production activities to get our economy back on track,” Sall declared in a speech in front of the nation.

The state of emergency and a night-time curfew will be lifted today at 23:00 (local time), and air borders will open from July 15 under certain conditions, he added.

Image credit Reuters, ZOHRA BENSEMRA

Earlier this month, the authorities have already loosened the curfew and allowed inter-regional travel in response to street protests against the strict and prolonged measures.

Sall also heartened his population by announcing that the government is working on an economic support programme to kickstart the recovery.


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