With two days to go before the Tabaski holiday, Dakar is beginning to empty of its population. Many Senegalese are returning to their families in the regions to celebrate the holiday. However, the President of the Republic has asked Senegalese to stay home to avoid the spread of Covid-19. Wearing a mask is now mandatory in public places and transportation.
The request of the President of the Republic to the Senegalese to celebrate the feast of Tabaski at home and not to travel to the regions has not really been heard in the bus stations of Dakar. At the Case-bi roundabout, a meeting point for intercity buses, customers of what are called "hourly buses" are numerous. All of them have Saint-Louis in the north of Senegal as their destination.
"We are obliged because we can not leave the children, leave madam, leave the mother and then make Tabaski here, "said a traveler.
Like this client, Samba Fall, a student, intends to travel to the north of Senegal, even if he assures that he will take the necessary precautions to avoid catching the virus or transmitting it to his family that he will join early in the morning. "I will protect myself and my family, which is why I will wash my hands and wear my mask before getting on the bus," he explains.
The driver of the hourly bus assures us that he is careful to impose the wearing of the mask and the washing of the hands. This assurance is hard to believe, as no hand-washing facilities are visible on site.
In a press release the Ministry of the Interior has dusted off an order dated April 29, 2021 prescribing the wearing of masks in public places and all transport. An order whose application is still slow to be effective in Dakar.