Senegal Warns Against Gatherings Ahead of Eid Celebration

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Senegal President Macky Sall renewed calls for people to avoid gatherings ahead of the West African nation’s most celebrated holiday due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

“I remind my compatriots to limit gatherings and movements,” Sall said in a speech broadcast on state television RTS Friday.

“If the rate of contaminations continues, I will take all the measures that the situation requires,” including returning to a state of emergency, closing borders, and imposing movement restrictions, he said.

The appeal comes days before the Eid al-Kebir holiday, known as Tabaski in the predominantly Muslim country. Wednesday’s religious celebration is marked by families coming together to slaughter a sheep, roast its meat and share it with guests. Markets are buzz in preparation.

Senegal, which has reported about 50,000 coronavirus cases so far, has seen the number of infections rise 12% over the past two weeks. About a third of all tests received Saturday alone came back positive, adding 1,366 new cases to the tally, the health ministry said in a statement.

Only about 605,000 out of the country’s 16 million people have received at least one shot of the vaccine against the virus.

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