Covid-19: Senegal declares state of emergency

APA-Dakar (Senegal)

To step up the fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease, the President of Senegal Macky Sall has declared a state of emergency with a curfew.

In order to stop the Covid-19 in his country, the President has moved up a gear: “Under Article 69 of the Constitution and Law 69-29 of April 29, 1969, from midnight tonight, I declare a state of emergency throughout the national territory.”

In an address to the nation aired Monday evening on the State television, the President stressed that “the speed of progression of the disease requires us to raise the level of the response. Otherwise, we run a serious risk of public calamity.”

Speaking to his compatriots, Sall hammered that “this is a serious time.” On this basis, he said “the government, the relevant administrative authorities and all state services will take all necessary steps to implement the decree on the state of emergency without delay.”

Furthermore, President Sall “ordered the defense and security forces to stand ready for the immediate and strict execution of the measures enacted.”

The state of emergency law confers a number of powers on the relevant administrative authorities. These include the regulation or prohibition of the movement of persons, vehicles or goods in certain places and at certain times, the prohibition, in general or in particular, of all processions, parades, rallies and demonstrations on the public highway, the prohibition, in general or in particular, of public or private meetings of any kind that may cause or maintain disorder, and the temporary closure of public places and places of assembly.

All these drastic measures are “accompanied by a curfew throughout the national territory from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.” A limitation, and if necessary a ban, will be imposed on passenger transport from region to region,” he said.

Aware of the urgency to tackle this scourge, Sall intends to submit “a bill to the National Assembly to enable it to take measures within the scope of the law for a period of three months to meet the budgetary, economic, social, health and security requirements of the fight against Covid-19.”

In a firm tone, the President warned his people: “If we continue to act as if nothing had happened, the virus will spread even more massively and aggressively. And despite their dedication, our health workers will then be overwhelmed and will no longer be able to contain the situation. It’s a worst-case scenario.”

Consequently, the Head of State called on the Senegalese people to “a national awareness of the gravity of the situation, with a citizen and patriotic spirit.”

These attitudes, according to Macky Sall, must be reflected in daily life by limiting “movements and gatherings” since “the virus does not move by itself. It circulates through the people who carry it, who put it in different places and thus transmit it to others.”

The President, in his capacity as supreme leader of the Armed Forces, urged the entire population to mobilise: “let us leave neither life nor our lives to the virus. Our salvation is at stake. The salvation of the nation is at stake.”


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