Senegalese Gov’t Urges People To Avoid Travel During Eid As Covid Cases Rise

Senegalese health authorities have urged people to avoid travel during the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday as the number of coronavirus cases, reported The BBC.

The African country is experiencing an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections. The health authorities have in recent days recorded the highest number of cases since the start of the pandemic.

Senegalese Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr has called on people to wear masks, avoid mass gatherings, and get vaccinated. The minister also recommended working from home whenever possible and reducing staff elsewhere.

The health ministry announced a record 733 new infections on Wednesday and another 674 on Thursday.

The Eid al-Adha celebrations,  also known as Tabaski in West Africa, is an Islamic festival that commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God. During the festival, it is traditional practice to give the sacrifice of an animal. People travel to celebrate with extended family members.

Senegal has so far recorded 48,270 positive cases including 1,209 deaths. Some 595,850 people have been vaccinated.

The Senegalese ministry also announced the arrival of some 500,000 vaccine doses before the end of the month, hoping to end the current shortage.

On Thursday, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said a total of 450,000 Covid vaccine doses have been destroyed in nine African countries.

Dr. Richard Mihigo, the WHO Africa’s immunization programme manager, said a delayed shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is widely used in the continent, is to blame for this.

“These vaccines are not necessarily wasted,” he said adding, “They arrived with a very short shelf life that was very difficult to deploy at the end of the day.”

Malawi, South Sudan, Liberia, Mauritania, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Comoros, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are among the countries that destroyed coronavirus vaccines. Malawi was the first country to destroy the vaccine doses on May 19.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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