Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara and Senegalese President Macky Sall on Monday declared a state of emergency, imposing curfews and travel restrictions on their populations, as a step to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in two of West Africa’s largest economies, reported Reuters.
The announcement was made after new coronavirus cases have been reported in Ivory Coast and Senegal. Senegal registered 12 new coronavirus cases on Monday to take its total to 79, while Ivory Coast has recorded a total of 25 cases.
“In accordance with article 69 of the Constitution and Law 69-29 of 29 April 1969, as of midnight tonight, I am declaring a state of emergency throughout the national territory,” Senegal’s President Macky Sall said.
He stated that the government, the administrative authorities and all the State services concerned will take all the necessary steps to implement the decree on the state of emergency without any delay.
The Senegalese president ordered an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and banned all gatherings in public spaces, prohibited public or private meetings of any kind, and ordered a temporary closure of public places and meeting places.
In Ivory Coast, President Alassane Ouattara announced a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and ordered the closure of all restaurants. He also imposed a ban on unauthorized travel between the seaside commercial capital of Abidjan and the interior.
He said he had authorized the lockdown of populations by geographic area, depending on the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the fight that we are waging against the propagation of COVID-19, our principal enemy will be indiscipline and non-respect of preventive orders,” Ouattara said, referring to the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also ordered a three-week nationwide lockdown that will begin on Thursday. South Africa reportedly has the most confirmed coronavirus cases on the continent.