President Saal declares State of Emergency over COVID-19 Pandemic

EYEVFRICA TV: Dakar, Senegal: President Macky Saal has declared a state of emergency in Senegal on the extent of the national territory, starting from the midnight of Monday in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Saal said his decision was by virtue of article 69 of the Constitution and of law 69-29 of April 29, 1969.

He said the government, the administrative authorities and all the State services concerned will take all the measures necessary for the immediate application of the decree on the state of emergency. He also ordered the defense and security forces to be ready for the immediate and strict execution of the measures decreed throughout the national territory.

Senegal confirmed it’s the first case-patient on March 2, and Mr Saal said since then the government has implemented an ongoing quota plan to stem the spread of the disease.

“But obviously we haven’t got there yet. On the contrary, a first case declared on March 2, we are today at 71 patients under treatment in the 4 districts of Dakar, as well as in Mbao, Yeumbeul, Guédiawaye, Rufisque, Touba, Mbour, Thiès, Popenguine , Saint-Louis and Ziguinchor.”

He said 1,561 people in contact with the disease are currently being monitored and will now be confined to hotel receptive by the Ministry of Health and Social Action.

The disease, which appeared in December 2019 in the Chinese City of Wuhan, has been declared as pandemic by the World Health Organisation following its spread like wildfire around the world.

President Saal said to date, COVID-19 has invaded more than 140 countries, including Senegal with the number of people infected risen to over 340,000, saying the pandemic has killed more than 15,000 people, plunging entire families into mourning and distress.

With it’s hard to detect destruction on human health, President Saal said COVID-19 has shaken the whole world in a brutal, rapid and massive way; ignoring borders; striking indiscriminately rich countries as poor countries, and without regard for the social status of each other.

“My thoughts are with the COVID-19 patients this evening. I express to them all my affection and my wishes for a speedy recovery. I encouraged the Minister of Health and Social Action, and all of his teams, in the difficult task that they lead day and night.”

He praised who he calls dedicated medical and paramedical personnel at the forefront of a merciless battle against COVID-19, for the salvation of the country. “To all these brave men and women, I renew my thanks and support in this risky battle against a vicious, deadly enemy invisible to the naked eye,” he said.

Mr Saal also expressed gratitude to all the living forces of the nation, saying political class, majority and opposition combined, citizen movements, social partners, private sector, religious and customary guides and citizens are all supporting the national momentum of response against COVID-19.

“Tonight, my dear compatriots, and I tell you with solemnity, the hour is serious. 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.”

The president said in accordance with the law on the state of emergency, these measures will in particular give the competent administrative authorities the power to regulate or prohibit the movement of people, vehicles or goods in certain places and at certain times; to prohibit, in general or in particular, all processions, parades, rallies and demonstrations on the public highway; to order the temporary closure of public places and meeting places; to prohibit, in general or in particular, public or private meetings of any kind whatsoever, likely to cause or maintain disorder.

He said these measures, which are not exhaustive, may evolve depending on the circumstances and they are subject to a curfew across the country, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. with only a limitation, and if necessary, a ban, will be imposed on the transportation of travelers from region to region.

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