Senegal's daily COVID-19 cases double overnight, new restrictions likely

·1-min read

DAKAR (Reuters) - Senegal's daily COVID-19 cases nearly doubled overnight to its highest since the outbreak began, the health ministry said, just one day after President Mackey Sall threatened to reimpose strict safety measures if cases continued to increase.

Sall threatened on Friday to close the borders and re-impose a state of emergency after the country registered 736 cases in a single day, setting a new record for the third time in a week.

But on Saturday, the health ministry announced that 1,366 cases had been detected over the previous 24 hours, eclipsing previous records.

While both cases and deaths from COVID-19 in Senegal have been relatively low, Senegal, like many African countries, has struggled to secure enough doses to adequately vaccinate its population of nearly 16 million.

Nearly 50 African nations, however, are in line to receive 25 million doses from the United States, with the first shipments to Burkina Faso, Djibouti and Ethiopia expected in coming days.

In Senegal's capital Dakar, coronavirus precautions have been largely abandoned. There are no restrictions on movement or gatherings, and residents frequently move about without masks.

Many Senegalese will also travel this weekend ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, which traditionally includes religious and social gatherings where infections can spread.

There have been 50,374 infections and 1,214 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Senegal since the pandemic began, according to health ministry figures.

(Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Cooper Inveen; Editing by Louise Heavens)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting