President Macky Sall of Senegal on Monday, announced that the country’s state of emergency and curfew, imposed as a result of the coronavirus, would be lifted on Tuesday
He also said international flights would resume from next month.
President Sall, in a televised speech, pointed to the economic fallout of the pandemic, saying that growth in the impoverished country would slow “from to 6.8 percent to 1.1 percent or even less”.
He said: “All our productive activity must be resumed in order to get our economy going again. Just as we cannot let the virus take our lives and our health, we cannot let it take our economic health and life.”
The president was speaking from his residence where, although he has tested negative for the coronavirus, he has spent the past week in quarantine after coming into contact with an infected person.
“Given this double necessity, I have decided to lift the state of emergency and the curfew” starting from 2300 GMT on Tuesday, he said.
Senegal would reopen its borders to international air travel from July 15, but its land and sea borders would remain closed.
Face masks will remain mandatory in public and markets will be closed for one day per week for cleaning.
The restrictions were imposed when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the country on March 2, but some measures have already been eased in recent weeks.
Senegal has officially declared 6,698 cases of coronavirus so far and 108 deaths, but the disease appears to be spreading and recent media reports have suggested that medical centres are reaching their capacity limits.
According to the latest figures published by John Hopkins University, 10,302,052 cases have been detected worldwide, with 505,505 deaths and 5,235,813 people recovered.
Nigeria has recorded 25,133 cases and 573 deaths, according to updated data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).