COVID-19: Senegal Delays School Reopening After Detection Of Fresh Cases

Senegal’s President, Macky Sall
President of Senegal, Macky Sall

Senegal has postponed the reopening of schools initially scheduled for Tuesday to a later date due to fresh coronavirus infections detected among teachers in the Southern part of the country.

On May 11, the president announced the easing of lockdown restriction measures, such as reopening of markets and shops, as well as places of worship and a partial resumption of schools slated for June 2nd.

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Education Minister Mamadou Talla on Tuesday revealed that the virus was detected among teachers in Casamance, a region in Senegal’s far south.

Talla said;

Teachers tested positive for COVID-19 have been reported in the southern Ziguinchor region. This is why the president of the republic has decided to postpone the resumption of lessons initially scheduled for June 2, 2020, to minimize the risk of spreading the virus in schools.

The minister added;

In light of this, President Macky Sall decided to postpone the return to school to a later date in order to prevent any risk of spread. He called on the authorities to continue with work that is already underway for a resumption.

However, ahead of the scheduled return, many teachers, parents and students had voiced fears about the risk of infection.

They said schools were under-equipped and social distancing or other coronavirus prevention measures were impossible to be imposed in schools.

Catholic schools in the capital of the country, Dakar, announced on Monday that they would reopen, but without children.

The schools stated;

We are not ready to receive students and we refuse to endanger the lives of pupils, staff and their families.

Catholics represent around five percent of the population of Muslim-majority Senegal.

The West African country, as at press time, has recorded 3,836 coronavirus cases, with 43 deaths, and 1,954 recoveries.

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