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Senegalese president his people to take Covid-19 pandemic "very seriously"

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Dakar, Senegal, April 4 (Infosplusgabon) - Senegalese President Macky Sall has urged his compatriots to mobilize and take "very seriously" the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, avoiding any stigmatization against the sick.


"Let's not lower our guard. Let's  remain mobilized in the observance of the rules of individual and collective hygiene. Let's respect the measures enacted by the state of emergency, limit our travel, stay at home. Let's take this disease very seriously and avoid stigma for a disease that is certainly very contagious but not at all shameful,"  he said late Friday in his message ahead of Saturday's celebration of the 60th independence anniversary of Senegal.


"It is by observing these rules that we will prevent a general spread of the virus that our health facilities will not be able to contain," President Sall added.


He called on the public to report any suspicious cases to the health services for early management, stressing the need for the army to adapt to the new health challenge.


"In the face of this unprecedented pandemic, I am reassured that all our forces, all our intelligence are united in the same spirit of struggle".


"This Covid-19 pandemic, unprecedented in its brutality, scale and crippling effects, provides sufficient information on the new threats facing the nation-state. Our defence and security forces must therefore adapt more to addressing these perils in the dual strategic and operational plan,"  he said.


Senegal recorded 12 new cases, seven imported cases and five contact cases on Friday, bringing to 207 the number of patients registered since 2 March, when the pandemic began in Senegal.


According to the Ministry of Health and Social Action, the number of cured patients now stands at 66, while the pandemic has so far claimed one life on Tuesday.


President Sall announced a series of economic measures aimed at mitigating the impact of the pandemic on household life and on the national economy, whose growth forecasts are sharply revised down from 6.8pc to less than 3pc.


He recalled setting up an economic and social resilience programme to strengthen the health system and support households, the country's diaspora, businesses and their employees.


He said that 64.4 billion CFA francs are earmarked for the health sector to cover all expenses related to the fight against coronavirus


The State will also pay electricity bills of 965,522 households to the tune of 15.5 billion CFA francs, water bills of 670,000 households amounting to three billion CFA francs, while 69 billion CFA francs will be spent on the purchase of food for one million eligible households.


"The state safeguards macroeconomic and financial stability to support the private sector and maintain jobs through a liquidity injection programme, accompanied by tax and customs measures," added President Sall.


He said the coronavirus pandemic needs to give more thought to the country's limits and vulnerabilities, particularly in the food sector.


"We have made great strides in agricultural production to ensure our food freedom, but we still need to produce more and better, consume Senegalese to be less dependent on external markets," he said.






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