- They will be allocated to around eight million Senegalese, a figure that is roughly half the population of the West African country.
- The Senegalese authorities have so far declared a "state of emergency," and imposed a mandatory night curfew.
- Senegal has so far recorded 190 cases of coronavirus, and it registered its first death due to the pandemic on Tuesday.
Senegal is preparing to bring emergency food aid to about eight million people exposed to the effects of the new coronavirus pandemic, officials announced today. To that end, the Senegalese government published public tenders in the press for the acquisition of 5,000 tonnes of rice, 500 tonnes of sugar, 1,000 tonnes of pasta, and 10,000 liters of oil and soap.
These products are destined for one million disadvantaged households where “the means of consumption, nutrition, and livelihood” are impacted by the pandemic, according to the statement accompanying the tender. It stressed that they will be allocated to around eight million Senegalese, a figure that is roughly half the population of the West African country.
The announcement comes at a time when there is strong speculation about the possibility of the country strengthening measures taken against the spread of the pandemic by ordering a total lockdown to the citizens. The Senegalese authorities have so far declared a “state of emergency,” and imposed a mandatory night curfew. In view of the rampant spread of the disease in the country, the possibility of mandatory confinement is highly a possibility.
Nearly 40 percent of Senegal’s roughly 16 million citizens live in abject poverty, with a majority operating on less than $1.90 (€1.75) a day, according to World Bank data. Senegal is also one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic in the West African region. A former French colony, Senegal has so far recorded 190 cases of coronavirus, and it registered its first death due to the pandemic on Tuesday.
In addition to last week’s declaration of a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the country, the nation’s government has also shut schools and banned mosque prayers to eliminate crowding. Analysts opine, however, that the further tightening of the measures to combat the spread of the virus would be a delicate political decision, since it is still difficult to quantify the effects of the pandemic on the country’s economy. According to recent statements by the trade minister, Aminata Assome Diatta, there are enough food supplies in Senegal, but the stock could run out quickly if demand is excessive.
The covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly shaken the world a situation that has compelled various governments worldwide to put in place measures to curb the spread of the disease, including border closures, night curfews, the closure of various institutions including schools and worship centers, as well as total lockdowns in some countries.
The new coronavirus, responsible for the covid-19 pandemic, has already infected more than 924,000 people worldwide. Of these, more than 46,000 have died, and more than 193,000 have been reported to have recovered from the virus.
After appearing in China in December, the outbreak spread worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic situation. The number of deaths in Africa has risen to at least 201 in the past hours, according to the Africa Center for Disease Control. More than 5,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in 49 countries on the continent.