Gambia president extends state of emergency as COVID-19 cases surge

GAMBIA’S President Adama Barrow has extended by 21 days a state of emergency in mainland Africa’s smallest nation as coronavirus cases surged, according to a  government statement.

Gambia, with a population of just over 2 million, has reported 2,743 cases since the outbreak in March, and 93 deaths. The daily reported cases were relatively low until mid-July.

Cases have increased exponentially in the country, which is mostly surrounded by Senegal, in the last couple of weeks, prompting the government to reimpose restrictive measures.

Neighboring Senegal has reported 13,294 cases with 277 deaths.

Public gatherings in Gambia have been banned, dusk-to-dawn curfew declared, and schools remain closed. Places of worship may remain open with restrictive safety measures in place, the statement said. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.