Sao Tome: Covid-19 situation in Europe prompts renewal of state of calamity
The government of Sao Tome and Principe has extended the state of calamity in the country for another 30 days due to the epidemiological situation with Covid-19 in Europe, particularly Portugal, announced the prime minister, Jorge Bom Jesus.
“We have decided that by January 15 we will still maintain the state of the disaster, taking into account the evolution of the disease both in our sub-region and, above all, in relation to the Portuguese territory and even in the European area,” explained the Prime Minister of San Tomean, at the end of a cabinet meeting at the presidential palace on Tuesday.
Europe, he went on, “is our gateway, we have two weekly [flight] connections with Portugal and so we are still going to maintain the state of disaster, given the level of relaxation of our population.”
The current state of calamity ended on Tuesday.
The government takes the view that in Sao Tome indicators show that “there is some stability, the disease is relatively under control,” but there are also fears that with the festive season approaching and people expected to flock to the country’s beaches for the traditional New Year’s bath, we must be cautious and maintain the sanitary measures in place.
“We think it is urgent and pertinent to intensify the campaign of awareness, monitoring, surveillance and of course coercion will have to become operational”, he said. “We had already announced joint patrols by armed forces and police, but this time we will make the means available so that we have control.”
This action was, he said, to avoid “more serious consequences with the spread of the pandemic in the country”.
Sao Tome is the Portuguese-language country in Africa that has recorded the fewest deaths associated with Covid-19 and fewest infections with the new coronavirus that causes it: 17 deaths and 1,009 confirmed cases.
Worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused at least 1,621,397 deaths as a result of more than 72.7 million cases of infection worldwide.
In Portugal, 5,733 people have died out of 353,576 confirmed cases of infection, according to latest recent bulletin of the Directorate General for Health.