News24 reports that protests have broken out in Senegal’s capital of Dakar in response to the recent curfew imposed by President Macky Sall. This comes after the head of state declared a state of emergency this past Wednesday with regards to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has seen close to 90 percent of the cases concentrated in Dakar and the Thies regions—both of which are now under an 8-hour curfew. Currently, there are a reported 20 376 coronavirus cases with at least 438 deaths in the West African country.
Speaking in a televised national address, President Sall said, “This is a grave hour.” He added that, “On the recommendation of the medical corps I decided to declare a state of emergency on two regions initially.”
Protests erupted shortly after the announcement was made with many Senegalese youth expressing their dissatisfaction over their various economic activities having been affected by the curfew. Additionally, many have pushed back against the curfew citing that “it won’t make the virus go away,” according to EWN. No arrests have been made thus far although there have been reports of fires having been started and barricades erected by protesters. This is not the first time this is happening, however. Last year in June, youths protested against the curfew and ban on inter-regional travel in major cities including Dakar, Mbacké, Touba, Tambacounda and Diourbel.
As cases of the coronavirus continue to increase all over the world, the much-anticipated vaccine is set to be rolled out in several countries. Nigeria is reportedly set to receive it first shipment of the the vaccine by the end of this month while South Africa’s Health Ministry recently announced that it will distribute 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to its healthcare workers from January through to February.