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Guinea and Togo extend COVID-19 restrictions

Guinea imposed nationwide measures on 26 March that have been repeatedly rolled over since then.

A woman walks past graffiti on a wall depicting hygiene measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Conakry, Guinea, on 4 May 2020. Picture: AFP

CONAKRY - The West African states of Guinea and Togo announced late Tuesday that they were extending exceptional measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Guinean President Alpha Conde, in a decree read on national television, said restrictions would be extended by another month from Thursday, while in Togo, Prime Minister Selom Komi Klassou said a "health state of emergency" would be carried forward for another six months.

Guinea imposed nationwide measures on 26 March that have been repeatedly rolled over since then.

Some measures, such as closures of schools and borders, have been eased but others, including restrictions on public gatherings, remain in place.

Critics accuse the authorities of using anti-coronavirus laws to gag protests and political rallies in the runup to tense presidential elections on 18 October.

One of the world's poorest states, Guinea has recorded 10,111 cases of coronavirus, 63 of them fatal.

Togo's parliament gave the government a six-month approval for anti-coronavirus measures on 30 March, and the latest extension was approved unanimously, Klassou said.

The country has registered 1,595 coronavirus infections, 40 of them fatal, but the tally rose after the country reopened its airports on 1 August.

"With this extension, we have 180 days to provide further protection for our fellow citizens, their work [and] purchasing power, to preserve our children's school careers and remake our lifestyle while pursuing economic and social development," he said.

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