Guinea-Bissau’s President, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, on Thursday announced the end of the night-time curfew that was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus infections in the country, reported Africa News. However, he announced the extension of the state of emergency decreed at the end of March in Guinea-Bissau.
“The state of emergency has been extended but there will be no curfew,” President Embalo told reporters.
According to a presidential decree issued, the president believes that a period of 15 days, the duration so far of the six successive state of emergency measures taken, is not sufficient for an adequate and effective response to the current health situation in the country.
According to the decree, the state of emergency, which expired on Thursday, has been extended by 30 days until 25 July.
The night-time curfew, which was first imposed in March, ran from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The government also closed borders and schools in a bid to curb infections.
As precautionary measure against coronavirus, the president once again urged people to keep respecting social distancing to stop the spread of the pandemic, while the country officially announced 1,556 cases of Covid-19, including 191 cured and 19 deaths.
Last week, Joana Cortez, a World Health Organization expert, said more than 170 of Guinea-Bissau’s 2,000 health workers have contracted COVID-19 and warned that hospitals were close to being overwhelmed.
Guinea-Bissau’s under-equipped healthcare system has been struggling to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. The health authorities have also raised the alarm over a lack of oxygen to treat patients.
Cortez said 176 health workers in the country had tested positive for the coronavirus. The number amounts to nearly 9% of the country’s total medical staff of about 2,000, according to Reuters calculations based on figures from the health authorities.