Protests erupt in Senegal capital over coronavirus curfew

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Senegalese President Macky Sall announcing a softening of state emergency measures taken to curb the spread of Covid-19 during an address to the nation from the Presidential Palace in Dakar on May 11, 2020.
Senegalese President Macky Sall announcing a softening of state emergency measures taken to curb the spread of Covid-19 during an address to the nation from the Presidential Palace in Dakar on May 11, 2020.
Lionel Mandeix/Senegalese Presidency/AFP

Dakar – Youths protesting a coronavirus curfew clashed with security forces overnight in the Senegalese capital, burning tyres and erecting barricades as police fired tear gas in Dakar's Ngor district, an AFP photographer reported.

Incidents were also reported in other parts of the capital overnight Wednesday.

President Macky Sall called a state of emergency on Wednesday as he imposed a curfew from 21:00 to 05:00 in Dakar and one other region of the West African country.

Dakar and the Thies region account for nearly 90% of Covid-19 infections, according to health authorities.

Sall's cabinet justified the curfew by a surge in deaths and new infections, including severe cases.

The pandemic had abated in Senegal before a second wave struck.

As elsewhere in Africa, Senegal's numbers are far from the levels reached in the West, with more than 20 000 cases and 433 deaths.

But the outbreak has put a strain on the poor country's healthcare system.

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