Senegalese President Macky Sall on Monday said he had decided to lift a state of emergency over COVID-19 to support the struggling economy.

Macky warned that the economy could grow less than 1.1% this year due to fallout from the epidemic.

As recently as January, growth was forecast at 6.8% in 2020, but business activity plummeted after borders closed and a curfew and social distancing rules were imposed to curb the virus,

“This is the challenge we must now face: to fight to preserve our lives and our health, and to resume all our productive activities to get our economy back on track,” Sall said in a speech to the nation.

The state of emergency and a night-time curfew will be lifted as of Tuesday 2300 local time, and air borders will open from July 15 under certain conditions, he said.

Senegal COVID-19 stats

Senegal currently sits at over 6 600 infections, with over 4 300 recoveries and over 100 deaths.

President Sall had placed himself in self-quarantine last week after having come into contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.

While Senegal’s government has not faced major opposition to its handling of the pandemic, protests broke out earlier this month in the capital Dakar against some imposed restrictions.