Senegalese President Macky Sall announced the re-opening of mosques and churches and the easing of other restrictions despite a jump in COVID-19 infections.
Despite the largest one-day jump in cases recorded on Monday, the president ordered the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions.
Sall ordered places of worship closed in March and imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew. Since then, the daily pace of new cases has picked up, 177 on Monday from a previous high of 104, with increasing community transmission in hotspots such as the holy city of Touba.
Senegal has recorded 1,886 coronavirus cases in total, including 19 deaths.
“In the best of cases, COVID-19 will continue to circulate in the country until August, or even September,” Sall said in an address to the nation.
“In this new phase that will last not a few weeks but three or four months, we need to learn to live in the presence of the virus.”
Several other West African governments, including Burkina Faso and Ghana, have announced a similar easing of restrictions this month while calling on their citizens to wear masks and practice social distancing.