Chad begins coronavirus lockdown amid lack of Covid-19 testing

Europe © Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg via Getty
MAY 8, 2020 LISTEN
© Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg via Getty

Authorities in Chad on Friday put the country's capital and larges cities on lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Chad has confirmed 253 cases of Covid-19 and 27 deaths, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Travel between different urban areas will be forbidden for two weeks. Goods vehicles are only allowed to enter towns from 22:00, two hours after the end of a curfew that starts at 20:00 and continues until 05:00. 

The measures are intended to stop the circulation of the virus, according to Mahmound Youssouf Khayal, Chad's public health minister. 

“Decree 38 that we've just signed takes into account all the major towns and the city of Ndjamena,” said Khayal, according to RFI correspondent Madjiasra Nako.

“It's to stop the circulation of the virus, it's very contagious … these are measures to stop the virus from travelling.” 

Chad recently registered 83 new cases of the disease. A lack of coronavirus testing and a lack of respect for social distancing measures explains the country's high mortality rate, according to experts cited by Ndjamena correspondent Nako

Several people have died in Ndjamena in recent days exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19. Four bodies tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday. However, it is difficult to measure how far the virus has spread in Chad given the lack of testing. 

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