Senegal sees a dramatic increase in COVID-19 as the main holiday scenario

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A sheep farmer puts a leash on a sheep donated by Secours Islamique France, Bargny, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. As millions in Senegal prepare for the Tabaski holidays, health officials warn that COVID cases -19 are increasing in West African Nation. Credit: AP Photo / Leo Correa

Adama Ndiaye got up early in the morning to travel about 40 kilometers (40 kilometers), hoping he could get a sheep for next week’s celebration of the Muslim holiday of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha.

As a result of the pandemic, the sale no longer provides enough money to the 63-year-old to keep her four children still at home, especially for not being able to buy a this costs about $ 140 to celebrate Tabaski, as the party is called in Senegal.

As soon as he learned that an Islamic charity would donate sheep to the poor, Ndiaye signed up to get one.

“I prayed a lot and didn’t expect to have a sheep.” she said. “God knows how grateful I am.”

After getting their sheep, Ndiaye and other women in her neighborhood have piled into a taxi with the animal and left. They will wait until Wednesday to slaughter the sheep and use them to prepare a party to share with family and friends.

As millions in Senegal prepare for Tabaski, warn that COVID-19 cases are increasing dramatically in the West African nation. In just a few weeks, new confirmed cases have gone from dozens a day to a record 738 on Friday and nearly doubled overnight to 1,366 on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health.

Senegal sees a dramatic increase in COVID-19 as the main holiday scenario

Children watch a sheep donated by Secours Islamique France, Bargny, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. As millions in Senegal prepare for Tabaski, health officials warn that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the West African nation . Credit: AP Photo / Leo Correa

Almost 36% of the 3,815 tests performed in the last 24 hours have been positive, the he said Saturday. Senegal has reported 50,374 cases and 1,214 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Faced with the dramatic increase, President Macky Sall and his cabinet limit public meetings and travel and urge the public to continue to wear masks and sanitize them frequently. On Friday, Sall threatened to close borders and re-impose a state of emergency if the numbers continue to rise.

Many in Senegal have relaxed the use of masks and other precautions after the country’s first climbs were not as severe as outbreaks in other countries.

Tabaski, to be held on July 21 in Senegal, sees thousands of people gather at numerous family reunions. Many health officials are worried because, ahead of the holidays, people are flocking to the markets and gathering to buy sheep.

Senegal sees a dramatic increase in COVID-19 as the main holiday scenario

Adama Ndiaye, throws a sheep donated by Secours Islamique France, in Bargny, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Ndiaye got up before dawn to travel about 25 kilometers, hoping to get a sheep to the Tabaski celebrations. As millions in Senegal prepare for Tabaski, health officials warn that cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in the West African nation. Credit: AP Photo / Leo Correa

Only about 600,000 people in Senegal’s population of more than 16 million have been vaccinated. The country has a limited supply of vaccines and is awaiting further deliveries from Sinopharm and Johnson & Johnson.

About 30% of new coronavirus infections in Senegal come from the delta variant, according to Souleymane Mboup, director of the Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training, one of Senegal’s testing laboratories.

“We are facing a much more contagious virus,” Mboup said.

The increase in cases is “unprecedented,” health ministry spokesman Mamadou Ndiaye said.

“The pandemic has especially affected the most vulnerable segments of the population,” said Anne Catherine Dupre, project coordinator in Senegal for the Secours Islamique France group.

Since last year, 30% of the thousands of people supported by the group have been forced to reduce food consumption as a result of the pandemic, he said.

  • Senegal sees a dramatic increase in COVID-19 as the main holiday scenario

    People gather around sheep donated by Secours Islamique France, Bargny, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. As millions in Senegal prepare for Tabaski, health officials warn that COVID-19 cases are on the rise. West African nation. Credit: AP Photo / Leo Correa

  • Senegal sees a dramatic increase in COVID-19 as the main holiday scenario

    Children help transport sheep donated by Secours Islamique France, Bargny, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. As millions in Senegal prepare for Tabaski, health officials warn that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the West African nation . Credit: AP Photo / Leo Correa

  • Senegal sees a dramatic increase in COVID-19 as the main holiday scenario

    A child leads a sheep after being given to a woman by the NGO SIF, Secours Islamique France, in preparation for the celebration of Eid al-Adha in Bargny, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The Eid al-Adha festival, known locally as Tabaski, is one of the most important Islamic celebrations, marking the will of the Prophet Ibrahim, Abraham to Christians and Jews, to sacrifice his son. As millions in Senegal prepare for the Tabaski holidays, health officials warn that cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in the West African nation. Credit: AP Photo / Leo Correa

  • Senegal sees a dramatic increase in COVID-19 as the main holiday looms

    A farmer carries a sheep donated by Secours Islamique France, Bargny, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. As millions in Senegal prepare for Tabaski, health officials warn that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the West African nation . Credit: AP Photo / Leo Correa

  • Senegal sees a dramatic increase in COVID-19 as the main holiday scenario

    A young boy drives a sheep, donated by Secours Islamique France, Bargny, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. As millions in Senegal prepare for Tabaski, health officials warn that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the nation West African. (Photo AP / Leo Correa8

  • Senegal sees a dramatic increase in COVID-19 as the main holiday scenario

    The children who helped the people are waiting their turn to receive a sheep, donated by Secours Islamique France, Bargny, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. As millions in Senegal prepare for Tabaski, health officials warn that the COVID-19 cases are increasing the West African nation. Credit: AP Photo / Leo Correa

“We are already dealing with very vulnerable populations, so in fact, to reduce it means they will only eat once a day,” he added.

Secours Islamique France has been working in Senegal since 2008 and has distributed food and sheep during Ramadan and Tabaski. This year they had to increase their donations due to the increase in people vulnerable due to the pandemic.

“It is important that they celebrate Tabaski. It is the most important celebration in a country where more than 80% of the population is Muslim,” he added.

The organization also distributes food and money, supports the education and training of unemployed people. It plans to distribute about 2,000 sheep in the Dakar area.

Meanwhile, Ndiaye and others hope the pandemic will end soon so that things can return to normal.

“I pray that COVID will stop,” he said. “If there are good ones , we can all work “.


Senegal confirms two new coronavirus patients, both European


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