The Senegal government on Tuesday decided to postpone the reopening of schools after a cluster of coronavirus infections was detected among teachers in the south of the country, reported Reuters. After some two-and-a-half months of closure, schools had been scheduled to return to their classrooms on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the education ministry announced the move was being delayed until a later date. It said a number of coronavirus cases had been detected among teachers in Casamance, a region in Senegal’s far south.
The ministry said President Macky Sall has decided to postpone the reopening of the school to a later date in order to prevent any risk of spread. He called on the authorities to continue with work that is already underway for resumption.
Prior to the scheduled reopening, many teachers, parents and students had expressed fears about the risk of infection. They claimed that the schools were underequipped and physical distancing and other coronavirus prevention measures were impossible to impose.
The Senegal government had introduced preventive measures against the coronavirus after the first case was reported on March 2. The government imposed many restrictions but no lockdown under a state of emergency that has just been extended until the end of June. The government is expected to make a decision in the coming days on whether some measures should be lifted, including a nighttime curfew and a ban on travel between regions.
Senegal has so far recorded 3,739 coronavirus cases, with 42 deaths, and 1,858 recoveries, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The second hardest-hit country in Africa, South Africa, which has reported 34,400 cases so far, had also delayed the reopening of schools, initially scheduled for Monday.
There are more than 147,800 coronavirus cases in Africa, with 4,230 deaths, and 62,103 recoveries, according to Africa CDC.