World, Africa

Guinea-Bissau extends state of calamity

Restrictive measures aimed to curb COVID-19 run until Sept. 10

James Tasamba   | 27.08.2021
Guinea-Bissau extends state of calamity

KIGALI, Rwanda

Guinea-Bissau government said Friday it had extended the state of calamity for 15 days with a curfew throughout the West African country effective from Saturday midnight as it battles the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, authorities explained that the decision to extend the state of calamity and to institute a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time is part of efforts to curb new infections.

“This third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is more aggressive and continues to accelerate in the country even when certain sports, cultural and religious activities have been maintained under the condition of strict compliance with health measures,” the statement said.

The government also instructed employers to reduce the number of non-essential staff in some public and private workplaces.

Wearing a mask and physical distancing in public places remain mandatory.

Health authorities have urged the public to avoid gatherings that could bring together large numbers of people.

Social, cultural, and political events are prohibited as well as religious congregations.

The government warned that those who breach the directives would be arrested and fined.

According to official data, in just one month, from July 18 to Aug. 22, about 1,500 new cases were registered -- corresponding to 27% of all COVID-19 infections seen in Guinea-Bissau since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

During the same period, 30 people lost their lives -- 33% of all fatalities -- due to the disease, while the positivity rate tripled over a three-week period, from 5.3% to 15.1%.

As of Aug.19, the country with more than 2 million population had registered a total of 5,305 cases and 95 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.

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